Steve Halliwell cause of death: What did the Emmerdale actor die of?

Steve Halliwell

Emmerdale’s Steve Halliwell death

Actor Steve Halliwell, known for his long-running role as Zak Dingle in Emmerdale, has died at the age of 77.

News of Halliwell’s death was announced by his family via a statement issued by ITV, the channel that airs the Yorkshire soap.

They said the actor died “peacefully with his loved ones around him”, stating: “He was making us laugh to the end, the most amazing father and grandfather you could ever wish for, family was everything to him.

“We would like to thank the wonderful staff at St James Hospital and the Wheatfield Hospice for their love and kindness in his final days. He didn’t want sadness, just to rejoice in a life well lived.”

ITV also released a statement: ‘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.

‘Steve will forever be synonymous with Emmerdale. The proud defender and head of the Dingle family.

‘Heart and humour in all he did, it has been and always will be impossible not to smile when you think of him.

John Whiston Managing Director of Continuing Drama & Head of ITV in the North, said: ‘Steve Halliwell was one of those rare human beings who was as wonderful off screen as on.

‘To millions of Emmerdale viewers he was the brawny but crafty Dingle patriarch who led the clan with a strong fist and a warm heart.

‘To everyone who worked on Emmerdale he was a much loved friend and colleague, the undoubted father of the show, but also its fun mischievous uncle. We will miss him enormously.

Steve Halliwell
Emmerdale’s Steve Halliwell dies at 77

Steve Halliwell cause of death

The cause of his death has not been officially confirmed, but some sources have reported that he had been suffering from a heart condition.

In 2018, the star was forced to take five months off work to have a pacemaker fitted after being rushed to hospital for a serious heart operation.

Steve battled alcoholism and depression for 50 years and previously revealed how he related to his character.

Steve told the TV Times: ‘I can see a pattern to me leading to playing Zak. I went on a journey and it seemed to be my destiny to play this man who I understood.

‘Everything the Dingles had been through, I had too – trouble with the police, fighting, being evicted. And if there were any aspects of Zak’s life I hadn’t lived, I knew people who had.’

Steve Halliwell
Emmerdale’s Steve Halliwell

Who was Steve Halliwell ?

Steve Halliwell was born Stephen Harold Halliwell in Bury, Lancashire, on 21 March 1946 to parents Fred and Jenny Halliwell. He has an older brother, Clive, who is two years older than him. Halliwell was an apprentice engineer and had a number of jobs mainly in cotton and paper mills before drama training at the Mountview Theatre School.

He was a founding member of the Interchange Theatre in Bury. Halliwell was once arrested for sleeping rough in an empty government building in London. He was sent to a prison in Ashford for two weeks and was later released on probation. He has also spoke openly about his experiences with depression throughout this period of his life.

During the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, he featured in a number of British television series, including Here I Stand, Threads, Cracker, Crown Court, G.B.H. Heartbeat and Coronation Street. Then in 1994, he joined the cast of the ITV soap opera Emmerdale as Zak Dingle.

Together with Emmerdale co-stars Billy Hartman and Alun Lewis, he was a member of UK 1990s country rock trio the Woolpackers who released the single “Hillbilly Rock Hillbilly Roll” in November 1996. In 2003, Halliwell took a short break from Emmerdale for personal reasons.

He later said that the break was due to staying at a rehabilitation centre for alcoholism. In September 2018, Halliwell had to take five months off from Emmerdale for health reasons, which he later revealed was due to having a heart surgery and a pacemaker fitted. Halliwell released an autobiography in 2014 called If The Cap Fits: My Rocky Road to Emmerdale.

Hopefully, this article was able to provide you with all the necessary information about Steve Halliwell death.


Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us!

We appreciate your continuous support in reading stories on

Feel free to share this story on any social media platforms.

Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Telegram.