Actors including Corrie’s Antony Cotton (Sean Tully) and Samia Longchambon (Maria Connor) took to social media on Wednesday to pay their respects to ‘star maker’ David, who founded the Oldham Theater Workshop in 1968 and who launched careers. of many soap stars.
David, who was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2019, tragically died on May 4, but his cause of death has yet to be revealed.
Sadness: Coronation Street and Emmerdale stars, including Samia Longchambon, have paid tribute to David Johnson, credited with launching their careers, after his death
Tragic: David, who received the British Empire Medal in 2019, died on May 4 but his cause of death has not yet been revealed (file image)
Since news of his passing, the stars of Coronation Street and Emmerdale have praised him for his ‘influence’ and for helping them boost their careers with his drama classes.
Antony Cotton tweeted: ‘Just heard the saddest news. David Johnson, who was the director of the phenomenon that was Oldham Theater Workshop, has died.
“He put a lot of us on the map and started a lot of careers, both on stage and off. Many of us owe him so much. I am absolutely devastated.
She continued: ‘He shaped my childhood so profoundly and in turn my adult life as well.
Devastated: Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully on Coronation Street, said he was “absolutely devastated” to learn of David’s death, as he admitted he owes him “a lot”
‘Those years were the best years of my life. Rest in the Power David. you were the best x’
She also shared a heartfelt statement on behalf of her co-star Alison King, who plays Carla Connor on the ITV soap, as she doesn’t have social media.
It said: ‘David Johnson. RIP.. my absolute hero! My creator of all things that I am, and where I am today, my teacher, of who I was 27 years ago, years that taught me things about myself that I never knew, but have carried with me to this day.
You were strict and yet the kindest man I have ever met with me. You were intuitive and insightful, and gave me and so many others I have loved and adored to work with over the years, a chance to shine.
She added: ‘You were the most intelligent human being and aware of others creatively, and how to teach them to show it, that I have ever met. Thank you very much.’
Tributes: Since the news of his passing, the stars of Coronation Street and Emmerdale have praised him for his ‘influence’ and for helping them boost their careers with his drama classes.
Samia Longchambon, who has played Maria Connor on Coronation Street since 2000, said: “What sad news. The end of an era. It really was the best xxx’
Emmerdale’s Kelvin Fletcher also shared his sadness, writing: ‘Single-handedly the biggest influence on my career and possibly the reason behind my career.
I know I speak for many. Thank you David Johnson. What a legacy.
Lisa Riley, who played Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale, said: ‘REST IN PEACE to all of us who learned about 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 you so much, David…you know how much I loved you.’
Gentleman Jack star Suranne Jones posted a “rest in peace” message on her Instagram stories as she shared a snap of David and “thanked” him.
David’s Oldham Theater Workshop ran drama classes that helped develop the careers of a variety of stars, including Anna Friel, Suranne Jones and Anne Kirkbride.
Oldham Theater Workshop said in a statement shared across its social media platforms: “We learned yesterday of the passing of Oldham Theater Workshop Founder and Original Artistic Director, David Johnson.
‘Since it first opened in 1968, thousands of young people have walked through its doors and found friendship, purpose and inspiration.
“Today we pause to reflect on the significant and ongoing impact David’s work has had.”
MailOnline has contacted Coronation Street for comment.
Stars: David’s Oldham Theater Workshop ran drama classes that helped develop the careers of a variety of stars, including Anna Friel and Suranne Jones (pictured May 2019)