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Former Eastenders star dies aged 98
1:20pm Saturday 13th July 2013 in News
It's 25 years since Lou Beale, the iconic grumpy gran of EastEnders, called her final family “get-ta-gevva”.
And on Sunday, actress Anna Wing faced her final curtain call as she died at the ripe old age of 98.
Tributes have been paid to the former artist’s model, who lived in Carlton Hill, Brighton, for much of her later life.
Mrs Wing featured as the opinionated Beale and Fowler family matriarch for three years, alongside Gretchen Franklin as her best friend Ethel Skinner.
Her character Lou, who was based on the aunt of EastEnders creator Tony Holland, was killed off in 1988.
Mrs Wing was a regular fixture in The Argus and readers voted her into the Sussex Hall of Fame in 2002.
After she left the BBC show, she was in pantos, serious drama and even appeared on Channel 4 show The Word “doing a jig in Turkish trousers”.
Apart from her career in showbusiness, she campaigned tirelessly for charities including Age Concern and Help the Aged.
Speaking to The Argus in 1995 about her time on EastEnders, Mrs Wing said: “They were searching all round for the right person. I think they gave it to me because I came across as an old bossy bags.
“I used to tell my hairdresser I was the ugliest person on TV.”
Born in October 1914, Wing started her career as an artist's model, before working in hospitals during The Second World War.
She gained a scholarship, funded by an unknown benefactor, to acting school at the age of 21.
During the 1960s and 1970s, she starred in a number of TV mini-series and films, including Doctor Who and The Woman in White.
Following her role in EastEnders, Wing appeared in The Bill, Casualty and most recently, Silent Witness.
She was made an MBE in the 2009 Birthday Honours, for services to drama and charity.
Speaking at the time she 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.”
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