The news of Steve Halliwell’s passing last month devastated viewers of the soap opera Emmerdale, where he portrayed Zak Dingle.
After Zak Dingle (played by Steve Halliwell) was brought up on Monday night’s episode, just a few weeks after the actor’s passing, Emmerdale viewers were moved to tears.
Since the soap opera is typically filmed roughly six weeks before it airs, it is likely that the scenes were shot before Steve passed away. However, many ITV viewers were moved when Zak’s name was mentioned.
The 77-year-old actor, who has been Zak’s character for nearly three decades, was telling someone about their “Uncle Zak” in the most recent episode of the soap opera.
After Zak’s name was mentioned, Emmerdale viewers took to X, which used to be known as Twitter.
A tearful fan posted the following with multiple crying emojis: “Uncle Zak mention!!!! #Emmerdale.”
Another person said, “Zak mention! God, the episode wherein his demise was revealed. When the time comes later this year, the funeral will be a depressing affair.”
Ryan wrote: “Not ready for the village to find out about Zak’s death. #Emmerdale.”
“He won’t meet Uncle Zak #Emmerdale,” said Dion. “A lot of Zak talk tonight… #Emmerdale,” Leroy remarked.
An Emmerdale representative said in a statement announcing Steve’s passing on December 15th, “Emmerdale can confirm that Steve Halliwell, our beloved Zak Dingle, has passed away peacefully. It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart.”
“All our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones through this very difficult time, and we’d request that their privacy is respected as they grieve for his loss.”
According to the actor’s family, “He went to sleep, peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones.” Family meant the world to him, and he was keeping us laughing all the way to the end. He was the most wonderful grandfather and father you could ask for.”
They continued by expressing gratitude for the “kindness in his final days” shown by the personnel at Wheatfield Hospice and St. James’ Hospital.
“He didn’t want sadness, just to rejoice in a life well lived,” they said.
It has been reported that Steve passed away at the age of 77 after experiencing health issues.