Emmerdale Shadrach star’s life – Coronation Street, tragic death and real name

Emotional scenes are due to air in Emmerdale tonight (September 8), after Faith Dingle confuses son Cain for her former lover Shadrach.

Fans of the ITV soap will remember Shadrach, played by Andy Devine, as a lovable rogue who became father to Chas and Gennie Dingle.

The actor, who sadly died earlier this year at the age of 80 years old, is fondly remembered for his iconic role in Emmerdale, along with his stints in other famous TV programmes.

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Here, Daily Star takes a look inside the Shadrach star's life – from his stints on Coronation Street to his real name and tragic death.

Real name

Andy Devine became an instant soap icon when he arrived in Emmerdale as Shadrach Dingle.

However, many fans may be surprised to learn that Andy was not the actor's real name.

He was born Peter Devine in Manchester, on February 28, 1942, where he grew up in the Cheetham Hill area of the city.

However, when he turned 17, he decided to join the Royal Navy, where he served between 1959 to 1967.

It was during his time serving with the Royal Navy that his friends nicknamed him "Andy" – and the rest, as they say, is history.

"Glad to be killed off"

Between 2000 and 2010, Andy's Shadrach Dingle became a memorable figure in Emmerdale.

The father of Chas and Gennie Dingle remained on the soap for over a decade, with he and his famous clan delighting viewers with their comedic moments – as well as bringing plenty of drama and heartbreak to the village too.

However, after more than a decade, the lovable Shadrach collapsed due to liver disease and fell into a river, sadly killing the character.

The storyline also won Andy Devine a British Soap Award for Best Exit in 2011.

Talking about leaving the soap in 2010, Shadrach actor Andy admitted during an interview with Manchester Evening News that he was pleased with the character's exit, saying: "I’m glad I was killed off, because otherwise I might have one of those days where I’d call my agent saying ‘get me back on it’.

"Now, it’s very much curtain down on that."

Coronation Street stint

Although Andy's most famous role was in Emmerdale, the star was already a famous actor, appearing in hit TV series including Doctor Who and Queer As Folk.

He even had multiple rival soap roles in Coronation Street as Jason Ross, a DJ at Weatherfield Radio Station and photographer Billy Williams at Betty Turpin's wedding.

However, acting was not always on the cards, telling The Guardian: "I never wanted to be an actor – I always wanted to be a pirate."

Following a stint in the Royal Navy and working on ships across the world, he finally made the move into acting at the age of 38 years old, appearing in soaps including A Country Practice and sci-fi series The Girl From Tomorrow.

He even had another role in Emmerdale as a rugby coach called Baz Bradstone in 1998.

Although Andy continued to act in theatre productions such as Snow White, and had a small role in BBC soap Doctors in 2011 after leaving Emmerdale, the actor decided to retire.

Retirement and tragic death

In the years following Andy's retirement, it was reported that the star lived a quiet life away from the limelight, travelling and living on a canal boat.

However, it was later revealed that he had been living in a caravan park in Southport at the time of his death.

Andy died on January 27, 2022 at Southport Hospital, Merseyside, at the age of 80 years old, following a fall at his home.

Following his death, Sefton Senior Coroner Julie Goulding said in her report that his death was contributed by "a significant number of serious underlying clinical co-morbidities".

She added: "Peter had a significant number of serious underlying clinical co-morbidities and not withstanding all appropriate care and treatment, Peter's condition deteriorated culminating in his death."

His medical cause of death was listed as "hospital acquired pneumonia" and the cause of death was concluded as being the result of an accident.


Following Andy's death, his Emmerdale co-stars and fans were left devastated.

Viewers took to social media to pay tribute, with one saying: "Gone too soon. What a legend. RIP Andy Devine."

"So sad to hear about Andy Devine," another added, while a third commented: "When I think of Emmerdale, I think of him."

Former Emmerdale star Liam O'Brien, who played Ethan Blake also paid tribute, saying: "Heartbroken to hear of the passing of an old friend. Even sadder that he passed in January and never knew.

"I was by the sea now when heard the news and Andy Devine was a sailor through and through. Gods rest ye pal. Second star to the right. Straight on 'til morning."

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