Hughes, who publicly supported cancer charities, first appeared in 1960s classics such as Z-Cars and The Likely Lads and was the voice of Paul McCartney in the Beatles film The Yellow Submarine.
Other roles included Vernon in Heartbeat and Uncle Keith in teen drama Skins. Hughes also guest-starred in episodes of Doctor Who, Casualty, Boon and The Upper Hand and left Coronation Street in 1984. In 2009 he was appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant for the Isle of Wight, making him "the official link between the island and royalty at formal engagements".
A Coronation Street spokeswoman said: "We are very sad to hear of the death of Geoffrey Hughes. He created a legendary and iconic character in Eddie Yates who will always be part of Coronation Street. Everyone connected with the programme send our sincerest condolences to his family."
Tributes poured in for the actor as word spread of his death.
Long-serving Coronation Street star William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow in the soap, said: "I am so sorry to hear about Geoffrey. He was a warm, lovable actor, with great comedy timing. He will be greatly missed, one of the Street's memorable characters."