A Tribute To Wendy Richard

Hello and welcome to today’s Slice Of Soap. Sad news as Wendy Richard dies after a long battle with cancer. The former EastEnder passed away in the Harley Street Clinic in London with her husband John Burns by her side. She was 65.

Diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, she had beaten the disease twice previously. She recently married her long-term partner after learning the devastating news that the cancer had returned to her left armpit during an annual check-up.

Born Wendy Emerton on July 20, 1943 in Middlesbrough, but raised in London, she had originally wanted to be an archaeologist. Her father committed suicide when she was 11 and her mother died 17 years later. After leaving school at 15, Wendy worked in the fashion department of luxury Piccadilly store Fortnum and Mason but soon departed for the Italia Conti Academy stage school.

An early taste of fame came in the form of a 1962 Mike Sarne hit entitled, Come Outside. Wendy can be heard on the record resisting his advances. Thanks to her leggy, blonde looks, she secured a role in the Albert Finney film Gumshoe and, if you look closely, you’ll spot her carrying on with Sid James and his team in the hit films Carry On Girls and Carry On Matron.

On television, Wendy appeared in numerous popular shows of the day including: The Likely Lads, Dad’s Army, Please Sir and On the Buses. But before EastEnders, she was best known as Miss Shirley Brahms, the glamorous but dippy shop assistant in the long-running BBC sitcom Are You Being Served? She played the role from 1972 to 1985. She then auditioned for a new BBC soap opera called EastEnders…

As downtrodden Pauline Fowler, with her domineering mother, weak husband, troublesome children, beige cardigan and laundry bags, Wendy Richard became one of Britain’s most recognisable actresses. It’s a testament to her acting skills that she easily made the transition from comedy to drama. For 21 years we watched her, as Pauline, rule over her East End family with a will of iron. Her soap matriarch will be remembered for years to come and I still laugh at the memory of Pauline beating her beloved ‘Ar-fer’ with a frying pan after he admitted cheating on her. Rest in peace, Wendy.

What are your memories of Wendy Richard? Please leave any messages of tribute by clicking the ‘add a comment’ button.

In view of the sad news of Wendy Richard’s death, this week’s caption competition will roll over to next week. There’s still plenty of time to get scribbling and make us all laugh.

That’s it for me, I’m out of here. Join me on Monday for a full preview of your favourite soaps. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.

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29 Responses to A Tribute To Wendy Richard

  1. Elycia says:

    Aww..Bless Herr!! R.I.P Wendy Richard

  2. fie says:

    R.I.P wendy richard, you are a peace now

  3. isabella marie says:

    R.I.P GOOD NIGHT GOD BLESS WENDY

  4. Jannice says:

    Rest in peace, my sympathy to your family…God BlessJannice

  5. kath says:

    R.I.P. WENDY REST IN PEACE

  6. Carol says:

    Beating cancer is tough, but you had to do it three times. Luckily I had to do it only once. Condolences to John and R.I.P. now Wendy. Really loved your Miss Brahams. Carol Stewart

  7. liz says:

    You have gone to a better place, well that is what they say, and i want to belive it as my husband is there as well.Sleep well Wendy, and if you see him say hi. R.I.P.Liz Sillence.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    It s very hard what to say,Enjoyed watching you in all different shows.God bless you and rest in peace.You will be remember for a very long time.

  9. tracey says:

    rest in peace wendy we are going to miss you loads xxxx

  10. Unknown says:

    You were a superb actress who gave us many many laughs in all your shows. What a brave and strong lady rest in peace now, carry on entertaining up there, god bless wendy.

  11. patricia says:

    rip wendy, now free from pain x

  12. Chellie says:

    MicheleI never ever heard u complain after all you have gone through with the media, you are such a corgeous person , now it is was the time for heaven to take the pain away from you. I hope your husband will think of all the laghter ou give everyone, thinking of his feelings to as it is hard to lose your true soul mate. love goes out to all he family god bless you in every ay xxxxxxxxxxx Michele

  13. kieran says:

    I took my mum out one night,to bingo,not a common occurance,hadnt seen her for sometime.Wendy came to the hall that night,guest appearance,she was so warm and friendly with everyone and just like us,fantastic!God bless her and her devastated family….she was a true person,a star,but also an ordinary,lady and down to earth.RIP,Wendy,how sad.XX

  14. CHARLES says:

    I have never been the Number One Fan of \’Eastenders\’. For me, Wendy Richard will always be Miss Brahms. How she and the other performers at Grace Brothers kept straight faces is beyond me. Thank you Wendy and colleagues for a fabulous, silly, comedy. My sympathy goes to her friends and relatives.

  15. Margaret says:

    Watch Eastenders and always loved Wendy (Pauline) and also as Miss Brahms, a wonderful entertainerCondolences to her husband and family

  16. Evelyn says:

    a most wonderful actress and person, give me miss Brahms anyday

  17. sonya says:

    Miss you always. I will always remember you as Pauline Fowler in Eastenders. I watched Eastenders in the 1990 onwards. My sympathy to your husband and friends.

  18. Leanne says:

    R.I.P your were a very talented and much loved actress who will be surly missed and always remembered xx

  19. mary says:

    w e all live in middlesbrough proud to say you came from boro ..gone but not forgotted god bless .will truly be missed a great actress lovely lady r.i.p.xxx molly family

  20. Unknown says:

    from caroline. you were a wonderful actress and on t.v. for as long as i can remember. you played brilliantly in east enders. i watched it from the start. it wont be the same without you. you were a very brave lady. my thoughts go to your husband and loved ones. rest in peace. x

  21. Unknown says:

    It\’s sad of Wendy Richard dies i was shock…. I will missing her so much a years. I hope her husband and the family are ok God Bless… Emma xxx

  22. James says:

    I was saddened to hear of your passing,you battled with your illness for a long time & showed great courage. My sympathies to your Husband & Family. Rest in Peace Wendy.

  23. william says:

    There\’s one more angel in heaven,there\’s one more star in the sky,you will be greatly missed by your fans of all ages,my sympathy goes to your husband,family and to all who knew you personally,rest in peace wendy,goodnight and god bless.

  24. Linda says:

    What a sad day ! i have watched wendy for many years and have never been disappointed in any part she played what a lovely lady sincere condolences to all her friends and family she will always be remembered. R.I.P. Ms Richards

  25. debbie says:

    my dad just passed away he had cancer i know how the family feel my heart goes out to them

  26. Unknown says:

    my dear mum in law has just died of cancer after fighting it bravely. another bright star to join Wendy

  27. Nikita says:

    My heart and condolenses goes out to Wendy\’s husband and her family and her close friends x R.I.P to wendy, she was a very lovely women, very pretty, especially in her teens, she looks fabulous! and very talented. She always made people laugh, she was a really talented actress x I hope that she is happy, healthy and safe up in heaven x Wendy will always be remebered as a wonderful, beautiful and brave women, her husband must be really proud of her and everything that she has done and gone through in her life x R.I.P wendy god bless, hope you are ok take care x x x

  28. Susan says:

    RIP Wendy god bless you.

  29. michelle says:

    I have always thought that Wendy Richards was fabulous. In a sense, she was East Enders and she will of of cause , always be remembered with love and affection for her role in "Are You Being Served". Wendy Richards will be missed by many, many people.Michelle. (USA)

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