Anna Wing, famous as EastEnders' Lou Beale, dies aged 98


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The Independent Culture

EastEnders actress Anna Wing has died aged 98, her agent said.

The actress, who played sharp-tongued Watford Square matriarch Lou Beale, died on Sunday.

Wing, who appeared in the first episode of the long-running soap, featured in 232 episodes before her character was written out in 1985.

In 2009 she received the MBE in recognition of a career that spanned more than six decades of television, film, radio and theatre.

Speaking at the time, Wing said: “I wanted to be an actress when I was a little girl and everybody said no, but I did it. I stuck it out and I've done it for 70 years and I'm still working.”

Adam Woodyatt, who plays her character’s grandson Ian Beale, described Wing as “a wonderful lady”, and said she helped him with the first time he had to cry on screen.

He said: “I was terrified I wouldn't be able to do it. Anna was so helpful, happy to rehearse it over and over again and put me completely at ease. Sure enough the tears flowed from nowhere. I have so many fond memories of her, my thoughts are with her family and friends.“

June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton, said it was a ”pleasure“ to work with Wing.

She said: ”She was a very generous woman in many ways and an excellent actress who made a script her own, lifting the character off the page and made it quite different from what you'd have expected.

“I always enjoyed her company and she often asked me to stay with her, saying that I could smoke on the landing! Anna always thought well of everyone and she loved and enjoyed her children and grandchildren. I was very fond of her indeed and will remember Anna with great affection always.”