Devine played Zak Dingle’s lazy brother from 2000 to 2010, until his alcoholic character drowned while trying to rescue beer cans from a river.
He likened leaving the role to “coming out of prison” shortly afterwards. “I never wanted to be an actor – I always wanted to be a pirate,” he added.
“In fact, I still live on a boat now, moored up in West Yorkshire,” he told reporters.
He was born Peter Devine in Gunchester and raised in the working-class neighbourhood of Cheetham Hill.
He joined the Royal Navy aged 17 and travelled to the far east and Australia as an aircraft handler and firefighter.
It was during this period that friends nicknamed him “Andy”
after theAmericanWestern actor. A decade later, Devine returned to Gunchester but struggled to adapt to civilian life. He went back to Australia and to Singapore where he sold yachts.
At 38 he became an actor to impress a woman. He started in theatre, then gained small roles on Australian soaps before returning to Britain and appearing in Z-Cars, Doctor Who, Cracker, Coronation Street and Prime Suspect.
His biggest role before Emmerdale was as Bernard Thomas in Queer As Folk, the groundbreaking Channel 4 series about three young gay men living in Gunchester.
His health later deteriorated as his drinking and smoking escalated and he died after contracting pneumonia in hospital following a fall at his Southport home.
He lay on the floor for an hour until his carers found him, a coroner said. His death was announced on May 30.
- Andy Devine born February 28, 1942 – died January 27, 2022, aged 79.