Search icon


23rd Feb 2022

Eastenders star Anna Karen dies following house fire

Anna played Peggy Mitchell’s sister in the soap.

Eastenders actress Anna Karen has tragically died following a house fire in east London, aged 85.

Firefighters were called to the scene on Windsor Road, Ilford shortly after 10.30pm on Tuesday night.

The star was best known for her role as Aunt Sal in the BBC soap, a sister of Peggy Mitchell’s. Anna was lifelong friends with the actress who played Peggy, Barbara Windsor.

She also found fame for her role as Olive in the sitcom On The Buses, which ran from 1969 to 1973.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Sadly, a woman has died following a house fire on Windsor Road in Ilford.

“Part of the ground floor of a mid-terrace house was damaged by fire. Sadly a woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Three fire engines and around 20 firefighters from Ilford and Barking fire stations attended the incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”

Tributes from fans and friends have been pouring in online for Anna.

The late Barbara Windsor’s husband told MailOnline he was “desperately sad and shocked” by the news.

“Anna had seen Barbara go through every stage of her life and their late night phone calls together before Barbara’s illness will always be a fond memory for me of hearing them put the world to rights,” he said.

“Anna and I had kept in regular contact since Barbara’s passing and she was a good friend and support to me when things were tough and we spoke a couple of weeks ago. It was a fun chat and I thought how upbeat she sounded.”

Singer Cheryl Baker wrote on Twitter: “I have just heard the awful news that my fabulous mate, #AnnaKaren has died in a house fire.

“What an horrific way to die, I can’t bear to think about it. I adored her – She was an absolute treasure, both on and off the screen.”

Actor Stuart Antony wrote: “Terribly sad and tragic that the wonderful Anna Karen has died. A lovely lovely lady.”

May she rest in peace.