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EastEnders Wendy Richard’s will – £2m gift for beloved co-star to fears for husband

In real life, late EastEnders actress Wendy Richard had major health problems despite leading an amazing life on TV. The Daily Star has examined her last desires before her terrible passing.

State Treasure One of the most adored British television actresses was Wendy Richard.

The celebrity played Pauline Fowler in BBC’s EastEnders from 1985 to 1992 after appearing in the popular comedy series Are You Being Served from 1972 to 1985.

Known as the country’s sweetheart, Wendy developed into a key character on the programme and took part in a number of intense plotlines.

Even while her career seemed to be thriving, Wendy was dealing with serious health issues off camera.

In 1996, the actress received her initial breast cancer diagnosis and received the all-clear. However, the condition later returned to her in 2002.

Her cancer seemed to enter remission after years of treatment, and in 2005 she received a clear medical report once more.

However, the disease resurfaced in her left armpit three years later and this time it was more aggressive. This third bout of cancer ultimately resulted in Wendy’s death in February 2009. She had a 65-year-old age.

The Daily Star has looked into her will and her final desires, though, as her legacy still endures.

Wendy talks about her health.

Wendy opened up to Daily Express in October 2008 about her disease and how it had gotten worse.

“I went for my routine annual check-up and they noticed that some cancer cells had reappeared in my left armpit,” she said of how she learned the shocking news in January.

“Unfortunately, the cancer has grown. The medication that I was given to aid had a negative effect. They actually did more harm than good, and as a result, my health has significantly declined. My right kidney is currently displaying a malignant growth, and the disease has migrated to my bones.

“I had breast cancer twice, but this time it’s different. Unfortunately, it has moved to the top of my spine and my left ribs this time and is more aggressive.

John Burns’ union

When Wendy received her third cancer diagnosis, she immediately went to a lawyer because she did not want her boyfriend of nearly 13 years, John Burns, to be “left behind with a mess to sort out.”

Wendy was married to three other men before John.

Wendy began a relationship with John, who was 20 years her junior, after her last divorce. Nevertheless, despite spending 13 years together, the couple made the decision to get married before Wendy passed away.

We were intending to be married anyhow, but when we received the diagnosis, we made the conscious decision to move forward and get married right away. Before, there was no rush.

“I’ve considered it from both perspectives. I’ve tried to think of everything, so if I get well, which I hope I will, that’s great. But if the worst happens and I do die away, John will be okay because I’ve drafted a will, written out the details of my funeral, and chosen the music I want played.

Last desires

Following Wendy’s unfortunate passing, rumours indicated that she had intended to bequeath Natalie Cassidy, who played the character of Sonia in the popular BBC series Walford, her £2 million inheritance.

But only if John, her husband, passed away within 28 days of her.

Natalie’s persona On EastEnders, Sonia was Pauline Fowler’s in-law, and she thought of the Albert Square icon as a “second mother.”

According to sources, Wendy’s stepdaughters Jade, 16, and Shannen, 18, each received jewellery and £5,000 from the bequest, while actress Natalie supposedly received cookbooks and jewellery.

Other than her stepdaughters, Wendy never had any biological children.


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