HEARTBROKEN soaps stars have been left shocked by the sudden death of a boss who kicked off all of their careers on Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
Actors have been paying tribute to “star-maker” David Johnson who was the director of Oldham Theatre Workshop.
Announcing his friend’s passing, Antony Cotton tweeted: “Just heard the saddest news.
“David Johnson who was the director of the phenomena that was Oldham Theatre Workshop, has died.
“He put so many of us on the map, and kick started so many careers, both on stage and off.
“So many of us owe him so much. I’m absolutely gutted. This is David Johnson. He formed my childhood so profoundly, and in turn – my adult life too.
“Those years were the best years of my life. Rest in Power David. You were the best x.”
Antony – who plays Sean Tully in Corrie – added: “Our friend Alison King, who has no social media accounts, wanted me to post this on her behalf.
“She adored David Johnson so felt like she need to put this out there x.”
Antony’s co-star Samia Longchambon, who plays Maria Connor, wrote: “Amen. Such sad news. The end of an era. He really was the best xxx.”
Emmerdale legend Kelvin Fletcher also shared his sadness about David’s passing.
He tweeted “Singlehandedly the biggest influence on my career and arguably, the reason behind my career.
“I know I speak for so many. Thank you David Johnson. What a legacy.”
Emmerdale star Lisa Riley posted: “REST IN PEACE.
“For all of us whom were taught by David Johnson….today is a very sad day, I know I speak for many of my fellow actors in the industry, we wouldn’t be where we are today without this LEGEND of a man.
“I owe so much to you David…..you know how much I loved you.
“All the impressions I did of you….heaven is lit today as it welcomes a creative master, who will be missed by us ALL!!! R.I.P”