On The Buses and Carry On actress Anna Karen left most of her £400k estate to ex-EastEnders star friend Sophie Lawrence

On The Buses and Carry On actress Anna Karen left most of her estate to her former EastEnders star friend Sophie Lawrence credit:Bang Showbiz
On The Buses and Carry On actress Anna Karen left most of her estate to her former EastEnders star friend Sophie Lawrence credit:Bang Showbiz

On The Buses and Carry On actress Anna Karen left most of her estate to her former EastEnders star friend Sophie Lawrence.

According to probate records uncovered by the Mail On Sunday, Miss Karen – who played downtrodden wife Olive Rudge in the ITV sitcom between 1969 and 1973 – left £427,197.

Her will was also said to have bequeathed 65% of her net estate to her 50-year-old Miss Lawrence – who played Diane Butcher in EastEnders between 1988 and 1991 – after payment of funeral and legal costs, inheritance tax and a £1,500 legacy to another friend.

Miss Karen’s will left another fifth of the “residuary” of her estate to her stepdaughter Gloria Gill, the daughter of her actor husband Terry Duggan, who died aged 76 in 2008.

Another eighth was left to four other friends or relatives and the final 2.5 per cent was left to the Actors’ Benevolent Fund.

Miss Karen, bon Ann Duggan, also appeared in BBC One’s EastEnders between 1996 and 2017, portraying Aunt Sal, the sister of Peggy Mitchell, played by Barbara Windsor.

The actress died in February in a fire at her terrace home in Ilford, East London, which neighbours believe was started by a cigarette after she fell asleep while smoking.

Miss Lawrence, who was born in Ilford, now lives in Norwich and reached No 21 in the UK singles charts in 1991 with a cover version of Donna Summer’s 1977 song ‘Love’s Unkind’.

The friends once toured with the comedy show ‘Bazaar Rummage’, based on a book by Sue Townsend.

Born in South Africa, Miss Karen was a striptease artist to pay her way through drama school and featured in 74 episodes of ‘On The Buses’ as well as three spin-off films.

She also appeared in ‘Carry On Camping’ and ‘Carry On Loving’.

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