'Last of the Summer Wine' actress Jean Fergusson dies aged 74

Jean Fergusson has died at the age of 74. (Simon Burchell/Getty Images)

Jean Fergusson, known for her role as Marina in Last of the Summer Wine, has died at the age of 74.

She starred as Marina, the secret love of Howard (Robert Fyfe), in 216 episodes of the series from 1985 until 2010.

A statement from her agents, Scott Marshall Partners, reads: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of actress Jean Fergusson, known to millions as flirtatious Marina in the long running BBC comedy Last Of The Summer Wine.

“Jean was a much-loved and respected actress, a brilliant comedienne, raconteur, and the life and soul of any gathering. She will be much missed by her many friends and colleagues.

“Jean passed away, at home, in the early hours of Thursday November 14. She is survived by her beloved sister Marjorie, brother-in-law Roger and her nephews Daniel and William.”

Jean Fergusson, Peter Sallis, Bill Owen and Michael Aldridge in a scene from episode 'The Kiss and Mavis Poskit' of the BBC television sitcom 'Last of the Summer Wine', October 15th 1989. (Photo by Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images)

Fergusson also enjoyed a role in Coronation Street as Dorothy Hoyle in 2010 to 2011 having previously appeared as two other characters in the soap.

Also a theatre actress, she portrayed comedian Hylda Baker in theatre show She Knows You Know! which was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1998.

‘Allo ‘Allo! actor Vicki Michelle has paid tribute to the star in a tweet.

She wrote: "Shocked & saddened to hear Jean Fergusson has passed Lovely lady, fabulous actress. Saw her Sunday at #SuPollard’s birthday, said she wasn’t feeling well. @benstockbiz and I planned to take her out next week.

"Can’t believe she’s gone #LastoftheSummerWine #SheKnowsYouKnow #Corrie."

Her Last of the Summer Wine co-star Mike Grady, who played Barry Wilkinson, also shared: "Our beloved colleague of many years, Jean Fergusson has died. We have lost a generous story teller who reduced audiences to good old fashioned, uncontrollable, honest laughter.

"Behind the blonde wig and glitzy make up she was very beautiful, skilled and of great ability."

Fergusson’s Last of the Summer Wine alter ego enjoyed a romance with the married Howard, whose battle-axe wife Pearl was played by Juliette Kaplan.

Kaplan passed away earlier in the year on 10 October at the age of 80.