Leah Bracknell has died aged 55.
Image Source/ Hello Magazine
The former Emmerdale star has passed away following a three year battle with stage four lung cancer, her manager has revealed.
In a statement on Wednesday (16.10.19), Leah’s manager confirmed she had passed away in September, and was surrounded by her family at the time of her death.
‘It is with the deepest sadness that Leah Bracknell’s family confirm that Leah passed away in September, three years after her diagnosis with stage four lung cancer.
‘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’.
The statement went on to praise Leah for her role as Zoe Tate in the ITV soap, which she held from 1989 to 2005, and which saw her make history by becoming the show’s first ever lesbian character.
Her manager continued:
‘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 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’.
Leah was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, and at the time was given just months to live.
But after defying the odds, she went on to pen a moving “manifesto” to help motivate herself, and to detail her journey.
Speaking in July, she said:
‘I wrote The Cancer Rebel’s Manifesto for life as a reminder to myself what it takes to keep your head above water.
‘To thrive, and to keep on keeping on while living with cancer and defying expectation every single day…
‘Against the fear of cancer, against my prognosis, against pity from others and myself, against being diminished by cancer…
‘Against being defined by cancer, against restricted by cancer, against being bullied by cancer, and against death’.
At the time, Leah also said she was “embracing life”.
‘I embrace the strength of my spirit. I embrace every opportunity that cancer gives me to learn, to grow, to expand, I embrace the glass half full, I embrace healing, I embrace laughter, I embrace joy, I embrace hope…
‘And above all else I embrace life … for I am a cancer rebel with a fierce heart, an independent mind, a warrior spirit, and an ocean of desire to keep on keeping on and making a difference and making a noise as long as there is sweet breath in my body’.