View Full Version : RIP Wendy Richards .

Yiktin Voxbane
26th February 09, 06:58 PM
Original article here (http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Showbiz-News/Eastenders-Actress-Wendy-Richard-Has-Died-After-Suffering-From-Cancer/Article/200902415230385?lpos=Showbiz_News_Top_Stories_Head er_4&lid=ARTICLE_15230385_Eastenders_Actress_Wendy_Rich ard_Has_Died_After_Suffering_From_Cancer)

Tributes have poured in from across the showbusiness world for actress Wendy Richard who lost her battle with cancer today.

Wendy Richard was best known for her role as Pauline Fowler

The former EastEnder, described as one of the greats of British television, passed away in the Harley Street Clinic in London with her husband, John Burns, by her side.

Richard, 65, will be best remembered as cardigan-wearing matriarch Pauline Fowler in EastEnders - a part she played for 21 years.

Before joining the soap she was already well-established as an actress playing Miss Brahms in the hit sitcom Are You Being Served?

Wendy with her MBE

Bill Treacher, who played Richard's on-screen husband Arthur Fowler in EastEnders, said: "Wendy and I worked together for 11 years and in all that time never quarrelled.

We were both totally professional and I am truly saddened to hear this news."

Richard joined EastEnders when it launched in 1985 and stayed at the soap until Christmas 2006, when her character died.

See a gallery of Wendy's life in pictures.

She was awarded an MBE for services to television in 2000.

Actress Gillian Taylforth, who played Kathy Mitchell in EastEnders, described her as "the loveliest of ladies and a dear friend".

"I was with her in EastEnders for 13 years and have many happy memories," she said.

"I remember going out with her many times and she made the most wonderful chilli with chocolate in it from a recipe from a chef at the Dorchester and used to make up an extra batch for me as I loved it so much.

"She was very generous like that and had a great sense of humour."

Minder star Shane Ritchie, who worked alongside Richard on EastEnders playing Alfie Moon until 2005, said he was "absolutely devastated" by her death.

She will be missed by a huge number of fans because she has given us so much pleasure over many years.

- Esther Rantzen

Richard had fought to overcome cancer twice previously, first in the mid-1990s and then in 2002.

After lengthy treatment her cancer went into remission but last year an aggressive form of the disease had returned.

It spread to her kidneys and bones and in October she revealed the cancer was terminal.

She married her long-term partner Mr Burns, her fourth husband, at a star-studded ceremony in London's Mayfair in October.

As well as her former EastEnders colleagues, other big names from the entertainment world showered praise on the star's achievements.

Comedian Ronnie Corbett said Richard's work would remain as a lasting tribute.

"What a career she had, from even before Are You Being Served?," he said.

"I'm very sorry to hear she's gone."

Sir Terry Wogan said Richard would be remembered as one of the greats of British television.

Wendy in 1987

"In the '60s and '70s, she was the queen of the sitcom and I'm sorry to hear she's gone," he said.

Natalie Cassidy, who played Sonia Fowler in EastEnders, said: "Losing Wendy is a huge loss - she was a very special lady.

"I loved her with all my heart. I feel like I've lost a second mum. I'll be standing by John, her husband, and everyone else who loved her."

Presenter Dale Winton said: "I knew her as a family friend first since I was a little boy and worked with her many times.

"I'm very saddened to hear the news, she was a real fighter and actually a very kind and funny lady."

Richard was born Wendy Emerton in Middlesbrough in 1943 but grew up in London where her parents ran a pub.

She was educated at the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, before leaving school at 15 and working in Fortnum and Mason's fashion department.

She left to study drama at the Italia Conti Stage Academy in London and decided to change her surname to Richard because "it was short and neat".

In 1962 she appeared on the novelty record Come Outside with British artist Mike Sarne, reaching number one in the charts.

Richard gained parts in the 1960s on shows The Newcomers, Dad's Army, Up Pompeii! and The Likely Lads.

She also appeared in Carry On films alongside fellow EastEnder Barbara Windsor.

Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, said: "I am enormously saddened by the news of Wendy's death.

"Her countless BBC appearances across decades, especially as Miss Brahms in Are You Being Served? and then as Pauline Fowler in EastEnders, lit up living rooms for millions of British families who regarded her as a member of the family.

"That was an enormous achievement."

Richard's friend Esther Rantzen said: "She was a woman of huge integrity, she was a terrific, terrific lady.

"She will be missed by a huge number of fans because she has given us so much pleasure over many years."

And scriptwriter Jeremy Lloyd, who worked with Richard on Are You Being Served?, said: "Wendy was not only a great friend but brought her extraordinary personality to Are You Being Served?, making her a star member of the cast.

"I shall miss her very much."

Richard worked with Macmillan Cancer Support following her diagnosis with the disease.

Chief executive Ciaran Devane said: "Macmillan is very grateful for the support Wendy gave to us and to other cancer patients."

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, added: "Our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time."

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

Her first three marriages ended in divorce. She had lived with Mr Burns for 12 years and the pair married on October 10 last year.

Truculent Sheep
27th February 09, 04:52 AM
Richards's stint as Pauline Fowler did a good job of portraying the archetypical East End Matriarch just before it died out as a concept. She captured all the lumpenprole presumption, arrogance, interference and loudmouthed belligerence, but also the sense of decency, certainty of purpose and stoicism. The future is now left in the hands of all the godawful Mo Slater clones living in Essex instead of Walford, but then again Eastenders has always been about mourning the past than looking to the future.

27th February 09, 05:53 AM
I was sad to hear she's gone. This is the song that started her career in 1962:


27th February 09, 10:21 AM
It really annoyed me that I only found out about this because a news bulletin had "Jade Goody very upset by Wendy Richard's Death" as its headline.

27th February 09, 11:31 AM
I guess she is finally being served.

27th February 09, 03:22 PM
The battleaxe seems to be a dying breed.