A look back at EastEnders star Anna Karen's career
24 February 2022, 08:19
Who did Anna Karen play in EastEnders? A look back at the late star's career...
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Tributes have flooded in this week after actor Anna Karen passed away in a house fire at the age of 85.
The On The Buses star was the last surviving cast member from the 1970s sitcom, in which she played Olive Rudge.
Karen’s agent Shane Collins said: “It is a terrible tragedy. I loved Anna. I’ve known her since I was a kid and she’s been the most wonderful lady.
“I’ve been privileged to look after her as her agent for the last few years.”
Here’s a look back at the star’s career…
Who did Anna Karen play in EastEnders?
Anna played Aunt Sal in EastEnders, otherwise known as Sal Martin, as a recurring role from 1996-2017.
Her character was the sister of Peggy Mitchell, played by the late Dame Barbara Windsor.
EastEnders viewers will know Aunt Sal appears for just a few episodes at a time, usually at Mitchell family occasions, and over the years she has featured in 57 episodes of the show.
The last time she was seen on screen was in January 2017, when Sal attended Ronnie and Roxy's funerals and berates their mother, Glenda Mitchell (Glynis Barber), for walking out on them.
In January 2022, Sal was referenced by Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) who revealed that Phil (Steve McDonald) had been staying in her holiday home while on the run.
What other TV shows was Anna Karen in?
Anna was born in Durban, South Africa and joined the South African National Theatre at the age of fifteen.
After moving to London when she 17-years-old, the actress made her acting debut in the naturist film Nudist Memories in 1961.
In 1966 she then starred as an extra in the comedy film The Sandwich Man and had a small role in Poor Cow.
Anna was probably best known for her role in 70s comedy On The Buses from 1969-1973, but also starred in pantomimes over the years.
The star married actor Terry Duggan in 1967 and they were together until his death in 2008.