Andy Devine died in January this year (Picture: Shutterstock/ITV)

Emmerdale star Andy Devine, best known as Shadrach Dingle, has died.

The actor, born as Peter Devine, played the character on and off from 2000 and made his final appearance in July 2010.

According to public records, he died on January 27 this year.

In 2010, Devine left Emmerdale after his character Shadrach was killed off in an emotional storyline related to alcohol abuse.

While he was best known for his role in the long-running soap, Devine also made appearances in Russell T Davies’ Queer As Folk from 1999 to 2000.

The actor had a long-running career, with one of his first acting jobs being in 1973, when he made various appearances in Doctor Who as a Draconian.

He went on to feature in TV shows including The Seven Eleven in 1993, Cardiac Arrest in 1994, Where The Heart Is in 1997 and Linda Green in 2007.

Devine is best known for his role in Emmerdale (Picture: Shutterstock)

He left the soap in 2010 (Picture: ITV)

Devine also delighted fans by playing his Emmerdale character Shadrach in a 2007 episode of Harry Hill’s TV Burp.

TV critic and journalist Michael Adams shared a tribute, tweeting: ‘Just heard the sad news that Andy Devine who played Shadrach Dingle in #Emmerdale and Bernard in Queer as Folk passed away in January.

‘Brilliant comic characters that he played so well. “Hazel, we’ve got lesbians!”’

Speaking in an interview in 2010, Devine admitted his acting career had exceeded all his expectations.

‘I never wanted to be an actor – I always wanted to be a pirate. In fact, I still live on a boat now, moored up in West Yorkshire,’ he told the Manchester Evening News at the time.

His final roles were in 2011 (Picture: ITV)

Devine is thought to have died in January (Picture: Shutterstock)

‘I only got into acting because I wanted to get my leg over with a lady who was going to acting classes when I lived out in Sydney. I used to sell yachts in Sydney Harbour, I’ve always been a sailor.’

He added: ‘I think the only thing you need to be an actor is a vivid imagination and an ability to put that into action. If you can cry at a movie, you can act.’

Prior to his role as Shadrach, Devine also played a different character in Emmerdale for two episodes in 1998 – Baz Bradstone.

More: ITV

Devine was a classical actor before turning his hand to soapland.

His final roles were in 2011 – an appearance in Doctors, and a role in TV series Mr Ashton.

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