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EastEnders: Real-life death of Aunt Sal actress Anna Karen who died in fire and the money she left to her EastEnders co-star Sophie Lawrence

The actress sadly passed away in 2022

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EastEnders' Anna Karen, and in a bubble is Aunt Sal

In tonight’s episode of EastEnders (Monday, January 15), the Mitchells gather together for Aunt Sal’s funeral.

They all got the news that Aunt Sal had sadly died earlier this year, with her loved ones heading off to pay their respects.

In real-life, Aunt Sal actress died almost two years ago, back in 2022, in very upsetting and tragic circumstances. She then left some money to her fellow soap co-star.

EastEnders' Anna Karen is serious
Anna died in a fire (Credit: ITV/ Shutterstock)

Aunt Sal actress died in house fire

On February 23, 2022, a house fire in East London sadly killed Aunt Sal actress Anna Karen.

The 85-year-old actress fell victim to a fire on the ground floor of a mid-terrace house but had sadly died by the time the fire crew tackled the blaze. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

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At the time of Anna’s death, the tragedy was confirmed to the Mail by a family friend, revealing: “We are absolutely horrified at the news about Anna.”

Anna’s neighbours also told The Sun that they raised the alarm after seeing smoke coming from her front door.

One neighbour told the publication: “I knew her from EastEnders, it was like having a celebrity living in the street, she was a lovely old lady and always spoke to everyone.”

Anna left some money to her co-star (Credit: BBC)

Anna Karen left money to soap co-star after death

After Anna’s death, probate records revealed that she left a large sum of money to her EastEnders co-star, Sophie Lawrence.

Sophie played the role of Diane Butcher in the BBC soap alongside Anna Karen, between 1988 – 1991.

Anna gave the actress 65% of her net estate, with the Mail on Sunday detailing this in reports.

After payment of inheritance tax and funeral costs, she left £427,197 to the star.

As well as appearing in EastEnders together, the actresses also toured in a comedy show: Bizarre & Rummage, based on the book by Sue Townsend, forming a great friendship with each other.

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