Wendy's agent, Kevin Francis, said she remained 'incredibly brave and retained her sense of humour right to the end'. Wendy endured two battles with breast cancer in the mid-1990s and then in 2002. The cancer went into remission after years of treatment in 2005, but last year it was discovered that the disease had returned in an aggressive form, attacking her kidneys, bones and spine.
Richard, who starred in Eastenders for 21 years, revealed in October she had an aggressive, terminal form of cancer. Wendy was awarded the MBE for services to television in 2000 and in 2007 she was awarded a British Soap Award for Lifetime Achievement for her role in EastEnders.
She launched her television career as a regular in 1960s soap The Newcomers and later appeared in comedy Dad's Army and two Carry On films. Richard left EastEnders in 2006.