The screenwriter passed away on Tuesday (31May16) at a nursing home in her native Liverpool, according to a statement from members of her family.

Lane worked on several beloved U.K. TV shows including The Liver Birds and Butterflies, and she created and wrote Bread - about a struggling Merseyside family.

A longtime animal rights activist, she returned the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal she was awarded in 1989 after learning Brian Cass, the managing director of animal research laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences, was also among those honoured by Queen Elizabeth II. Carla was upset by the company's reported use of animals in drug testing.

She later received a handwritten letter from Prime Minister Tony Blair, who felt she deserved the honour and offered to keep it safe so it could be returned to her if she reconsidered.

In 1995, Carla Lane was honoured with a Royal Television Society award for her Outstanding Contribution to British Television.

A statement from her family reads: "With heavy hearts we said goodbye to our darling Carla today. But with smiles on our faces we also take this opportunity to reflect on her incredible achievements all of which make us so unbelievably proud to be part of her family."

Paying tribute to Lane, actress Melanie Hill, who played Aveline in Bread, tweeted: "Very sad to hear #CarlaLane has left us. Writer and creator of many fantastic shows."

And TV personality Piers Morgan added: "RIP Carla Lane, who made us all laugh."