February 26, 2009 / 1:26 PM / 10 years ago

"EastEnders" actress Wendy Richard dies

Actress Wendy Richard smiles to photographers after she received her MBE award from the Queen Buckingham Palace, November 28, 2000. REUTERS/POOL Old

LONDON (Reuters) - Actress Wendy Richard, best known for her portrayal of Pauline Fowler in the soap opera “EastEnders,” died on Thursday aged 65, her agent said.

Richard revealed in a newspaper interview in October that she had terminal cancer and soon afterwards she married her long-term partner John Burns. She had married three times previously.

Her breakthrough television role was in the 1970s department store sitcom “Are You Being Served,” in which she played glamorous sales assistant Miss Brahms.

Earlier in her career, she had gained a degree of fame as a model and in 1962 her duet with singer Mike Sarne, “Come Outside,” topped the singles charts.

She joined EastEnders when the BBC programme began in 1985 and remained until 2006, when her character died. Richard said her departure was over objections to the storyline.

Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, said: “Wendy Richard is going to be incredibly missed by the BBC and by our audiences.”

Reporting by Mike Collett-White

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