Former 'Emmerdale' actress Leah Bracknell dies aged 55

Leah Bracknell has passed away aged 55. (ITV)

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

The actress, known for her role as Zoe Tate in the ITV soap, passed away in September.

Her manager said in a statement: "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 4 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.

Leah Bracknell arrives at the 2001 Bafta Awards in London. (William Conran – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

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

Leah Bracknell on set during filming of Emmerdale in 1989. (Tim Roney/Getty Images)

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

Bracknell appeared on Emmerdale for 16 years before leaving in 2005.

John Whiston, managing director of continuing drama and head of ITV in the North, said in a statement: "Everyone on Emmerdale is very sad to hear of the death of Leah Bracknell. Leah was a hugely popular member of the Emmerdale cast for over 16 years.

Read more: Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell starts new cancer treatment to slow terminal cancer

"During that time she featured in some of the show's most high-profile and explosive plots and always delivered a pitch-perfect performance. Zoe Tate was one of soap’s first lesbian characters, and Leah made sure the character was both exciting and credible.

Leah Bracknell in 2006. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

"Leah herself was a very generous and caring colleague, much loved by cast and crew alike."

Bracknell originally announced her diagnosis three years ago, and earlier this year said she was still hoping for an “impossible miracle”.

She is survived by her husband Jez Hughes and two children.