Edna Birch was a long running character in Emmerdale. She first appeared in Episode 2697 (24th May 2000) although she had lived in the village for most of her life beforehand apart from a few years as a married woman. She has a fiery temper but a good heart and is an Annie Sugden type matriarch of the village. She is now retired and lives at Woodbine Cottage with her pet dog Tootsie. Edna was played by Shirley Stelfox. In December 2015, Shirley died after a short illness. She had already filmed her last scenes as Edna even though she hoped to return to the show once she was better. In Episode 7492 (3rd May 2016) Edna died off-screen after a battle with ovarian cancer.