Victoria Wood kept her illness secret from some of her colleagues, a fellow actor has said.
The 62-year-old comedian, actress and writer died at home with her family after a short battle with cancer.
Duncan Preston, who appeared with her in the BBC sitcom Dinnerladies and As Seen On TV, told the Daily Mail he had no idea she was ill until her family called him with news of her death.
Wood, born in Prestwich, Lancashire, was well known for her comedy series Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV, as well as her role in sitcom Dinnerladies and her TV special Victoria Wood With All The Trimmings.
She received a special Bafta tribute award in 2005 and in 1997 she was made an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, later being made a CBE in 2008.
Her older brother spoke of the shock of her death, saying it "has robbed us of one of the brightest talents of our generation".
Chris Foote Wood, 75, added: "I am hugely proud of what my sister has done so successfully in different fields of entertainment. It has been a privilege to have her as a sister, and particularly to have been able to observe at first-hand how she developed her career from the earliest beginnings.
"Victoria's two children, my niece Grace and nephew Henry (Durham) will be absolutely devastated to lose their mother at such a relatively young age."
Wood's long-term manager and friend Phil McIntyre said: "Victoria has been a part of our lives as a friend, devoted mother and national treasure for 30 years.
"She was always modest, generous and undemanding. A super person and a super and unique talent. There will be an unfillable void left on all levels and we will miss her deeply."