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Wendy Richard

Mostly Credited As: Wendy Richard
Birth Name: Wendy Emerton
Date Of Birth: July 20, 1943 (Age 65)
Country Of Birth: United Kingdom
Birth Place: Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England
Date Of Death: February 26, 2009
Cause Of Death: cancer
Height: 5' 6" (1.67 m)

Wendy Richard


Wendy Richard, who has died aged 65, was an actress who made her name playing the buxom, dippy Miss Brahms in the TV comedy series Are You Being Served? Yet she will be most remembered for an altogether different role that of the long-suffering matriarch Pauline Fowler in EastEnders. During her 21 years in the popular BBC soap, the dowdy, unsmiling laundrette worker had to cope with her teenage daughter's pregnancy, her father's death, her son's HIV, and her husband's infidelity (to which she responded by smacking him on the head with a frying pan). "She was once described as the Boadicea of battle-axes," the actress said of her character. "It is something I take as a compliment."
Richard's private life was scarcely easier than Fowler's. Born Wendy Emerton in Middlesbrough in 1943, she was brought up in hotels run by her parents. Her father killed himself when she was 11, and her mother eventually died of alcoholism. Meanwhile, Wendy immersed herself in an acting career, taking the name Richard because it was "short and neat". Duetting with Mike Sarne, she scored a No.l hit in 1962 with Come Outside, but only earned £15 for her contribution (which mainly consisted of whining "give over" and "lay off" as Sarne tried to coax her out of doors for a bit of "slap and tickle"). On screen she specialized in playing comic characters, appearing, for example, in Carry On Matron as the pregnant Miss Willing. These reached their zenith in an innuendo-laden BBC sitcom set in an antiquated department store. Although dismissed by critics as vulgar, Are You Being Served? was watched by some 22 million people at the peak of its success, and ran from 1973 to 1985.
By then, Richard longed for a grittier role, and she certainly found one in EastEnders. Although in the early days Pauline Fowler showed a warmer side, she gradually morphed into one of the most irritating characters in popular drama. She wasn't a scheming bitch, she wasn't a cuddly matriarch. She was just miserable. This, of course, wasn't the fault of the actress, who doggedly did as she was told until 2005, when she quit, feeling Fowler's decision to remarry was out of character. "Some women never remarry," she said at the time. "My mother never remarried after daddy died." Richard herself was married four times, the last of them to a man 20 years her junior, who cared for her during her treatment for the cancer that killed her. When she wasn't acting, Richard collected ornamental frogs.

TV Appearances

Main cast 
A Question Of EastEnders (2000)As: Herself (Team Captain)
What's a Carry On? (1998)As: Herself
Grace & Favour (1992)As: Miss Shirley Brahms
EastEnders (1985)As: Pauline Fowler (1985-2007)
Hogg's Back (1975)As: Pearl #2 (1975)
Are You Being Served? (1973)As: Miss Brahms
The Newcomers (1965)As: Joyce Harker
Episode Cast Credits 

Agatha Christie's Marple (2004) 
  A Pocket Full of Rye 04x01: (Sep/06/2009) As Mrs. Crump 

Masterpiece (1971) 
  Miss Marple, Series IV: (1) A Pocket Full of Rye 39x20: (Jul/05/2009) As Mrs. Crump 

What Are You Like? (2008) 
  Episode 14 01x14: (Sep/11/2008) As Herself 
  Episode 11 01x11: (Sep/08/2008) As Herself 
  Episode 8 01x08: (Sep/03/2008) As Herself 
  Episode 4 01x04: (Aug/28/2008) As Herself 

Big Brother's Little Brother (2001) 
  Series 13, Episode 75 13x75: (Sep/01/2008) As Herself 
  Series 13, Episode 62 13x62: (Aug/17/2008) As Herself 
  Celebrity Hijack - 2 12x02: (Jan/06/2008) As Herself 
  Series 11, Episode 9 11x09: (Jun/10/2007) As Herself 

Take It Or Leave It (2006) 
  Series 3, Episode 2 03x02: (Jun/09/2008) As Herself 

Benidorm (2007) 
  Series 2, Episode 8 02x08: (May/16/2008) As Sylvia 
  Series 2, Episode 5 02x05: (Apr/25/2008) As Sylvia 

The New Paul O'Grady Show (2006) 
  Series 5, Show 26 05x26: (Apr/21/2008) As Herself 
  Series 1, Show 37 01x37: (May/16/2006) As Herself 

All Star Mr & Mrs (2008) 
  Series 1, Episode 1 01x01: (Apr/12/2008) As Herself 

Loose Women (1999) 
  Series 2, Show 35 02x35: (Feb/21/2000) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Series 12, Show 128 12x128: (Mar/07/2008) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Series 11, Show 23 11x23: (Feb/14/2007) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Series 11, Show 19 11x19: (Feb/08/2007) As Herself, [Interviewees]

Would I Lie To You? (2007) 
  Len Goodman, Russell Howard, Vic Reeves, Wendy Richard 01x05: (Jul/21/2007) As Herself 

The Pyramid Game with Donny Osmond (2007) 
  Series 1, Episode 29 01x29: (Jun/14/2007) As Herself 
  Series 1, Episode 5 01x05: (May/11/2007) As Herself 

This Morning (1988) 
  May 29, 2007 19x182: (May/29/2007) As Herself 

The Queen At 80 (2006) 
  The Queen at 80 01x03: (Apr/21/2006) As Herself 

Today With Des & Mel (2002) 
  Series 4, Show 31 04x31: (Dec/19/2005) As Herself 

Live Talk (2000) 
  Series 1, Show 52 01x52: (Dec/05/2000) As Herself, [Interviewees]

The Heaven And Earth Show (1998) 
  February 27, 2000 03x08: (Feb/27/2000) As Herself 

It's Only TV But I Like It (1999) 
  Richard Whiteley, Wendy Richard, Sarah White, John Leslie 01x04: (Jun/24/1999) As Herself 

Whose House? (1999) 
  Episode 38 01x38: (Jun/03/1999) As Herself 
  Episode 8 01x08: (Mar/24/1999) As Herself 
  Episode 2 01x02: (Mar/16/1999) As Herself 

All Over The Shop (1996) 
  Series 3, Show 1 03x01: (May/17/1999) As Herself 

Surprise, Surprise (1984) 
  Series 14, Show 3 14x03: (Jul/18/1997) As Herself 

You Bet! (1988) 
  Series 10, Show 2 10x02: (Feb/15/1997) As Herself 
  Series 9, Show 9 09x09: (Aug/10/1996) As Herself 
  Series 2, Show 2 02x02: (Feb/04/1989) As Herself 

Celebrity Squares (1993) (1993) 
  Series 4, Show 1 04x01: (Jul/22/1996) As Herself 
  Series 3, Show 1 03x01: (Jun/02/1995) As Herself 

Shooting Stars (1995) 
  Pilot 01x??: (Dec/27/1993) As Herself 

Doctor Who (1963) (1963) 
  Dimensions in Time, Part One (Nov/26/1993) As Pauline Fowler 

Terry Wogan's Friday Night (1992) 
  Series 1, Show 18 01x18: (Feb/19/1993) As Herself 

Wogan (1982) 
  Series 5, Show 1 05x01: (Feb/18/1985) As Herself 

West Country Tales (1982) 
  With Love, Belinda 02x01: (May/12/1983) As Jill 

Spooner's Patch (1979) 
  The Morning After 01x02: (Jul/16/1979) As Girl 

Dad's Army (1968) 
  The King Was in His Counting House 05x07: (Nov/17/1972) As Shirley 

On The Buses (1969) 
  The Busmen's Ball 05x06: (Oct/24/1971) As Elsie 

Dixon of Dock Green (1955) 
  Nightmare Hours 17x14: (Feb/13/1971) As Barbara Walker 
  The Outlaws 08x25: (Feb/24/1962) As Jean Davis 

The Wednesday Play (1964) 
  The Voices In The Park 06x22: (Apr/05/1967) As Delphine 

Turn Out the Lights (1967) 
  A Big Hand For A Little Lady 01x03: (Jan/16/1967) As Veronica Woods 

No Hiding Place (1959) 
  Hi-Jack 08x02: (Nov/10/1965) As Janet 
  The Hunted and the Hunters 07x25: (Jul/19/1965) As Linda Hooper 
  An Eye for an Eye 06x07: (May/18/1964) As Smiler 

Six (1964) 
  The Day Of Ragnarok 01x04: (Jan/02/1965) As Unknown 
  Don't I Look Like A Lord's Son? 01x03: (Dec/26/1964) As The Girl 
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