Just the ticket! Stepdaughter of On The Buses star Anna Karen says she is ‘pleased’ the actress left her £400,000 fortune to EastEnders co-star Sophie Lawrence

  • EXCLUSIVE: Gloria Gill, 71, said she ‘wasn’t expecting any money’ from step mum
  • EastEnders actress died in February in a blaze at her home in Ilford, East London
  • Gill said that co-star Lawrence looked after her mum and dad for many years
  • ‘She is a lovely girl, Sophie, and she deserves it all’, Miss Gill said 

Gloria Gill, 71, said Sophie Lawrence had looked after her mum and dad for many years and she deserved her stepmum’s fortune

The step daughter of EastEnders actress Anna Karen is delighted her late step mum left her £427,000 fortune to her soap co- star. 

Gloria Gill, 71, said Sophie Lawrence had looked after her mum and dad for many years and she deserved the money.   

On The Buses star Anna Karen died in February in a blaze at her terrace home in Ilford, East London, which neighbours believe was started by a cigarette after she fell asleep while smoking.

It was then revealed on Saturday that Miss Karen left the bulk of her estate to fellow former EastEnders actress Sophie Lawrence.  

Speaking from her home in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, Miss Gill said: ‘I was very close to Anna. We used to speak every couple of weeks or so. 

‘But I wasn’t expecting to get any money, I was very pleased that she left it to Sophie. 

‘I knew she was going to give the money to Sophie. Sophie has looked after my dad and Anna very well and because I live all the way up here I was a bit limited to what I could do. 

Miss Karen, who played downtrodden wife Olive Rudge in the bawdy ITV sitcom between 1969 and 1973, left £427,197, probate records reveal. Pictured: Anna Karen and Sophie Lawrence at the funeral of Mike Reid

Anna Karen, pictured in On The Buses, starred in 74 episodes of the show as well as three spin-off films 

‘She is a lovely girl, Sophie, and she deserves it all. She has really looked after the two of them – my dad and Anna. 

‘She has known them for years.’ 

Miss Gill, who used to work in an office, but is now retired, was born in Highgate and brought up in Shoreditch.   

Miss Karen, who played downtrodden wife Olive Rudge in the bawdy ITV sitcom between 1969 and 1973, left £427,197, probate records reveal.

Her will left 65 per cent of her net estate to her close friend Miss Lawrence, 50, after payment of funeral and legal costs, inheritance tax and a £1,500 legacy to another friend.    

Speaking from her home in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, Miss Gill said: ‘I was very close to Anna. We used to speak every couple of weeks or so’

Miss Karen’s will left a further fifth of the residuary of her estate to Miss Gill, the daughter of her actor husband Terry Duggan, who died in 2008.

Another eighth was left to four other friends or relatives and the final 2.5 per cent was left to the Actors’ Benevolent Fund.

Miss Karen, who was born in South Africa, performed as a striptease artist to pay her way through drama school. She starred in 74 episodes of On The Buses as well as three spin-off films, portraying the put-upon sister of bus driver Stan Butler played by Reg Varney.  

Miss Lawrence played Diane Butcher in EastEnders between 1988 and 1991, followed by a number of guest appearances in the BBC soap during subsequent years.

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