Wendy Richard dies

Former 'EastEnders' actress Wendy Richard has passed away aged 65 from cancer

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Wendy Richard

Wendy Richard dies

Former 'EastEnders' actress Wendy Richard has died.

Wendy - best known for her portrayal of Pauline Fowler in the BBC soap - lost her battle against cancer this morning (26.02.09). She was 65.

The actress passed away at the Harley Street Clinic in London with her husband John Burns at her bedside. She had been diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal form of cancer last October.

Her agent Kevin Francis said: "She was incredibly brave and retained her sense of humour right to the end."

The veteran star was one of the best known faces on British television, playing the role of Pauline in 'EastEnders' for 21 years, from its first episode in 1985.

Wendy exited the soap on Christmas day in 2006, when her character was dramatically killed off. The episode was watched by an estimated 10.7 million viewers.

Before playing Pauline Wendy had enjoyed a long and successful acting career with roles in programmes such as 'The Newcomers', 'Dad's Army', 'Up Pompeii!' and 'The Likely Lads' in the 60s.

Her big break came with her role as shop assistant Miss Brahms in the 70s sitcom 'Are You Being Served?'.

In an interview last year, Wendy - who had twice survived breast cancer - revealed she had been diagnosed with cancer after an annual check up.

She said: "They found that some cancer cells had returned in my left armpit. The drugs I was given to help had an adverse effect.

"If anything, they did more damage than good so my health has really deteriorated. Now I have a cancerous growth on my right kidney and the cancer has spread to my bones.

"Twice I've had breast cancer but this is different. It's more aggressive this time, unfortunately, and has spread to the top of my spine and left ribs."

Wendy had written her will and planned her funeral, drawing up a guest list and choosing the music.

She married long-term partner John five months ago, shortly after her diagnosis. She had also been married three times previously, to Leonard Blach, Will Thorpe and Paul Glorney.

Tributes have already flooded in for the star from cast and crew both past and present, friends and relatives.

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