Former Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell dies three years after cancer diagnosis

Former Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell has died three years after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

The actress, who played Zoe Tate on the ITV soap for 16 years until 2005, died in September at the age of 55.

A statement from her manager, on behalf of Bracknell's family, said: "They would like to thank all the public for their support and generosity which contributed to the extension and quality of her life over the past three years.

"Leah continued to embrace life and faced her illness with positivity. Many aspects of her journey can be found on her blog –

"Leah was best known and much loved as Zoe Tate in Emmerdale. She also had roles in Judge John Deed, A Touch of Frost, The Royal Today and DCI Banks to name just a few, as well as numerous appearances on stage and in pantomime. As well as acting, Leah was also an accomplished yoga teacher and shamanic healer.

Leah Bracknell
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Leah Bracknell
BROMLEY, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 03: Leah Bracknell poses at the photocall and launch for the new theatrical production of 'Strangers On A Train' at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley on April 3, 2006 in Kent, England. The show, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, and filmed by Alfred Hitchcock, will run from April 27 to May 6 before embarking on a major tour of theatres across the country. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Leah Bracknell Attends The British Soap Awards 2006 At Bbc Television Centre In London. (Photo by Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON - SEPTEMBER 29: "Emmerdale" actress Leah Bracknell leaves the Inside Soap Awards September 29, 2003 in London, England. (Photo by David Westing/Getty Images)
Actress Leah Bracknell who plays Zoe Tate in the ITV soap Emmerdale arrives at the British Academy Television Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. (Photo by William Conran - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Actress Leah Bracknell who plays Zoe Tate in the ITV soap Emmerdale arriving at the BAFTA Television Awards at Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane central London. (Photo by William Conran - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Actress Leah Bracknell on set during filming of British television soap opera Emmerdale Farm in 1989. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)

"Leah had an energy and enthusiasm for life, a kind heart and much love to give to those around her.

"Her family have asked for privacy at this very sad time."

Bracknell's cancer diagnosis came to light in October 2016 when her husband Jez Hughes launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for her to undergo treatment overseas, due to a lack of options available on the NHS.

Leah Bracknell as Zoe Tate in Emmerdale (PA)

The former soap star had been diagnosed in September after rapid weight gain around her abdomen and breathlessness prompted her to seek medical help.

After Bracknell was diagnosed, fans helped her raise more than £50,000 to undergo groundbreaking treatment in Germany.

She started taking new medication, but later revealed that it had failed.

Bracknell has appeared in public numerous times over the past three years, discussing living with cancer and talking openly about her numerous methods to ease her symptoms, and she wrote about her experiences on her blog, Something Beginning With C.

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