John Savident, who played Fred Elliott on Coronation Street, dies aged 86

23 February 2024, 11:30 | Updated: 23 February 2024, 12:19

John Savident has died
John Savident has died. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Kit Heren

John Savident, who starred as butcher Fred Elliott on Coronation Street, has died aged 86.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Savident, who was on the soap for 12 years from 1994-2006, was a favourite for many viewers and was known for his booming voice.

His agent said: "We are sad to announce the death of the actor John Savident who died on Wednesday 21st February.

"He was a much loved husband and father of two and will be sorely missed by all who knew him."

Savident's storylines involved his unluckiness in love. Fred, his character, had three marriages and several failed proposals.

Read more: 'May you dance with the angels': Robin Windsor's Strictly partner says dancer was in ‘excruciating pain’ before death

Read more: The Archers and EastEnders actor Ian Pepperell dies aged 53

John Savident with co-star Elizabeth Bradley
John Savident with co-star Elizabeth Bradley. Picture: Getty

A secret son, Ashley Peacock (Steven Arnold), also arrived on the show and the two later developed a close bond as they worked as butchers together.

Savident's character was killed off in 2006, suffering a stroke on the day he was supposed to marry Bev Unwin (Susie Blake). Savident had quit the show because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Savident was born in 1938 in the Channel island of Guernsey, escaping the Nazi occupation with his family by fleeing to Britain in a fishing boat.

John Savident
John Savident. Picture: Alamy

He served as a police officer before becoming an actor, appearing in minor and supporting parts in a string of films and television shows.

Among his more famous parts in this period were performances in A Clockwork Orange in the 1970s and Yes Minister in the 1980s. But he only rose to fame when he joined Coronation Street.

He married Rona Hopkinson in 1961. The couple had two children and seven grandchildren.

EastEnders actor Stuart Antony remembered Savident as "lovely and witty" as he shared a photo of the two of them on Twitter.

He wrote: "RIP wonderful John Savident. Always lovely and witty. Here's a memory from a garden party years ago."