Former Emmerdale star Johnny Leeze was best known for playing Ned Glover in the soap from 1994 to 2000.
The actor, who also played milkman Harry Clayton in Coronation Street, made his television debut in his 40s.
His brother, Phil, paid tribute to a much-loved relative on Facebook following his death at the age of 78, having tested positive for coronavirus.
“It is with deep regret to inform you all my brother John passed away this morning,” he said.
“A lot of you will remember him as Ned Glover in Emmerdale, or comedian Johnny Leeze on the club scene.
“He had Covid-19 and underlying health issues. He made thousands laugh. He will be missed greatly by us all.
“Rest In Peace John. Your loving brother Phil, and sisters Pam and Sheila.
“I know you will have them all in stitches up there. Fly high on angels’ wings.”
Born in York on December 31, 1941, Mr Leeze went to work as a gas fitter and plumber when he left school.
After winning a talent contest in his early twenties for stand up comedy, he continued to work in the profession at nights, while continuing as a plumber during the day.
He made his television debut in 1982 on the sitcom Open All Hours and went on to appear in some of the UK’s biggest soaps.
Mr Leeze returned to Emmerdale for a short stint in 2000 for his on-screen son’s leaving storyline. His last TV appearance was on Life On Mars in 2007.
Former colleagues took to social media to express their condolences.
Dominic Brunt, who plays Paddy Kirk in Emmerdale, tweeted: “RIP Johnny Leeze. My flat mate when I arrived in @emmerdale in 1997.
“Old school and wayward but full of good advice. The funniest stories attached to this fella. Non repeatable here I’m afraid.”
RIP Johnny Leeze. My flat mate when I arrived in @emmerdale in 1997. Old school and wayward but full of good advice. The funniest stories attached to this fella. Non repeatable here I’m afraid. X pic.twitter.com/JDUzvocsEG
— Dominic Brunt (@dominicbrunt) October 25, 2020
Dean Andrews who plays Will Taylor in Emmerdale added: “Very very sad to hear my old mate and former @emmerdale legend Johnny Leeze past (sic) away today.
Very very sad to hear my old mate and former @emmerdale legend Johnny Leeze past away today. I first worked with him in 1983 and he gave me lots of encouragement and advice. Great entertainer and a cracking bloke #RIP pic.twitter.com/QLswpUoxaN
— Dean Andrews (@Deanoandrews) October 25, 2020
“I first worked with him in 1983 and he gave me lots of encouragement and advice.
“Great entertainer and a cracking bloke.”