Coronation Street actress Julie Goodyear ‘slowly fading away’, husband says

Coronation Street actress Julie Goodyear ‘slowly fading away’, husband says
  • PublishedMarch 24, 2024

Goodyear’s husband Scott Brand has said it is “extremely painful” to watch his wife struggle with dementia.

The husband of Coronation Street star Julie Goodyear has revealed the pain of watching his beloved wife “slowly fading away” after her dementia diagnosis.

Scott Brand has shared his experience as part of a new Alzheimer’s Society campaign, featuring a TV advert voiced by British actor Colin Firth.

The advert, titled The Long Goodbye, illustrates the harsh reality of the disease’s progression – causing loved ones to “die again, and again, and again”.

Brand said: “I miss the fun-loving wife that Julie had always been – the larger-than-life personality that brightened up everywhere she went, and the smile that lit up every room.

“All of this is now slowly fading away and it’s extremely painful for me to watch this deterioration.

“Julie now struggles recognising people and everyone she meets is called ‘Scott’.

“Not being able to spontaneously go out as husband and wife, holding hands as we stroll along, going for meals together and going shopping – all these losses for me symbolise the Long Goodbye.”

Shadow of her former self

Goodyear played Bet Lynch, the no-nonsense landlady of the Rovers Return, on Coronation Street for more than 25 years.

The former actress, 81, was renowned for her leopard-print clothing and glamorous looks both on and off screen, but her husband said dementia has caused a lack of interest in her appearance.

“Julie has always been extremely glamorous, going nowhere without her makeup.

“But now the lipsticks and make-up go unworn, and clothes are no longer of interest, especially the leopard print,” Brand said.

Actress Julie Goodyear alias Bet Lynch on the set of Coronation Street at Granada Studios in Manchester to mark her return to the soap. Pic date: 2 May 2002
Image:Goodyear played no-nonsense landlady Bet Lynch for 25 years. Pic: PA

Brand is Goodyear’s fourth husband, and they married in 2007.

‘I wasn’t coping’

He revealed he initially “refused to accept any support” after Goodyear’s diagnosis before realising “I couldn’t do it by myself”.

“I had to give up work to become Julie’s full-time carer,” he said.

“I wasn’t coping and needed to seek support.

“Caring for Julie is my priority, but my health was being affected and as a lone carer I felt it was ‘killing me’.

“Julie had always dealt with the finances but now she cannot even recognise the value of money,” he added.

Julie Goodyear arrives at the Celebrity Big Brother House at Elstree Studios in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday 7 September, 2012. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Image:Goodyear appeared in Celebrity Big Brother in 2012. Pic: PA

“I was suddenly thrown into having to sort out all the household affairs, something Julie had always managed with ease and perfection.

“It was like being thrown into a new world of having to do everything by myself.

“I would advise anyone going through this journey to accept help straight away.”

‘There is hope’

Kate Lee, chief executive officer of Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This campaign seeks to tell the unvarnished truth about the devastation caused by dementia and it is very much informed by people affected by the condition.

“The loved ones of people with dementia often describe it as a ‘living grief’ as, bit by bit, the disease’s relentless progression causes part of the person to die…again and again and again.

“But there is hope.

“Alzheimer’s Society, through its support services, is there for people affected again and again as they face the grim reality of the long goodbye.”

Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms associated with an ongoing decline of brain function, according to the NHS.

The condition can affect memory, thinking skills and other mental abilities.


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