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Some observations about the real Wendy Richard by those people who worked with her, met her, or saw her outside of her television roles.


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"The most frequent question I am asked is whether Wendy was like Pauline.  Well, yes she was, but she was also a great laugher and joker.  Most people never saw that. They also perhaps never saw the kindness and generosity that was hers when others needed it.  Wendy spoke her mind and never suffered fools gladly, but was never anything less than a friend.  I shall miss her."

-- Ian Lavender, 2009, from The Birmingham Mail, 1 Mar 09


"She was my wife and my best friend."

-- John Burns, 2009, from The Mail on Sunday, 27 Dec 09


"In 11 years we never had a single quarrel. She was a true professional and I am going to miss her greatly."

-- Bill Treacher, 2009, from The Mirror News, 29 Feb 09


"She was from that era when women were still film stars.  She was always impeccably turned out and was a true celebrity . . ."

-- Derren Litten, 2010, from The Mail on Sunday, 10 Jan 10


"Wendy was nothing like Pauline, which shows what a brilliant actress she was.  She was very sharp and very witty, as quick as a whip.  But she was also like a teacher who protected the younger cast members."

-- James Alexandrou, 2010, from The Mail on Sunday, 10 Jan 10


"Wendy's an angel -- we got along very, very well during my time on the show.  It was just one of those things -- we clicked immediately as people."

-- Nick Bailey, 2003, from an interview with the Walford Gazette fan newspaper


"She showed you how to behave on set and was always professional in every way . . .  You knew where you stood with Wendy, but she'd always have time for you."

-- Ricky Groves, 2010, from The Mail on Sunday, 10 Jan 10


"Our business can be so false, it's so refreshing to meet someone so honest.  When she laughed the world lit up.  Wendy was very classy.  She was interesting, she had that sort of Sixties model thing going on and the most incredibly feline, beautiful eyes."

-- Colin Salmon, 2010, from The Mail on Sunday, 10 Jan 10


"She's a funny old thing, Wendy, but she's got a heart of gold.  She's a good soul really."

-- John Bardon, 2005, from an interview with the Walford Gazette fan newspaper


"Wendy could be frightening.  She was talented and unafraid.  She watched you and appraised how you were going to react and whether she was going to like you or not."

-- Fern Britton, 2010, from The Mail on Sunday, 10 Jan 10


"I've known her for a long time now, so we're close and have a lot of laughs together.  She's a lovely lady . . .   She kept [her breast cancer operation in 1996] all very quiet and came back to work within days.  That's typical of Wendy -- she's so professional, a real trouper."

-- Todd Carty, 1996, from Woman, 15 Apr 96


"I admired her from the moment we met on set but we really got close when I was about 18 and she became my mother-in-law on the show.  She was a very wise woman and shrewd business person.  We talked a lot.  She helped me learn my lines and gave advice about how to play my scenes, made me go for training to strengthen my voice for theatre work and showed me how to look after my money by making wise investments.  I miss her so much."

-- Natalie Cassidy, 2009, from The Mail on Sunday, 30 Aug 09


"[Wendy Richard has] been a successful player over the years, relying on her acerbic sense of humor to obtain laughs, often at the expense of others.  She is by nature very outspoken, and if something irritates her, she expresses her feelings, even in the show.  She does this in such a passionate way, that the audience think it a humorous contribution, and they laugh, but more often than not she really feels it.  Wendy also has a thing about people reciting lists of items in a round, something [at] which Clement Freud is very adept.  It's not as easy as it sounds; it's not against the rules; and it's usually funny, but Wendy can not stand it and always goes on the offensive as soon as anyone does it."

-- Nicholas Parsons, 2004, from his spoken introduction to the Just A Classic Minute, Vol. I audiotape collection of shows from the long-running series Just A Minute (BBC Radio Collection, ISBN 0-563-49510-3)


"A trouper in the best sense of that word. . . "

-- Clement Freud, 1993, from his Radio Times interview with Wendy


"Wendy Richard was a real revelation . . . [She's] got a fantastically dry sense of humour. Even though I never got to know her that well, I still laugh when I think of some of the things she used to say and do . . . She's a very honest person who does and says what she thinks . . . She'd always speak her mind and would say all the things I'd want to say but didn't have the nerve. She had the guts, the experience and, more importantly, she had the respect to be able to say it."

-- Martine McCutcheon, EastEnders actress, 2000, reminiscing about Wendy.
from her autobiography Who Does She Think She Is?


"It would be fair to say that she saved my life. Wendy couldn't believe I hadn't been to the doctor. She went mad and made me promise I'd have it looked at. If she hadn't, I believe I'd never had gone -- at least until it was too late."

-- Laila Morse, EastEnders actress, 2001, recounting Wendy's concern about Morse's real-life brush with breast cancer.
from OK! (8 June 2001) magazine


"Wendy and I have been getting on really well. It is lovely working with her. I work my way and Wendy works hers -- but we both just get on and do it."

-- Natalie Cassidy, EastEnders actress, 2001
from Inside Soap (19 January 2001) magazine


"Wendy Richard who plays Pauline Fowler because she helped me enormously when I first started. She gave me confidence because I was very nervous when I joined the show."

-- James Alexandrou, EastEnders actor, in response to the question "Of all the cast members which actor do you admire most?", 2000
from the BBC Soaps website


"She was exactly like her character [Miss Brahms]: bright, cheerful, very quick-witted."

-- June Hudson, costume designer on Are You Being Served?, 1998
from the Webber AYBS? book


"She is a very friendly person to know, talks often about her love of Chinese, Japanese and Italian food, and is a good cook herself."

-- Bill Pertwee, 1997
from his book
[Webmeister's note: In Jul 00, Wendy remarked to me that she had no idea where Pertwee got the idea that Japanese cuisine was one of her favorites. . .]


"She's very useful to know. She loves London. She lives in London. In fact, she's never happy if she's not in spitting distance of Harrod's. I don't live there. I live in the country. But if ever I want to get something special, I know if I ask Wendy: [she'd say] '..You want to go to Dickins & Jones, dear; that's the best, and that's where you get it cheapest.' She always knows the best."

-- Mollie Sugden, 1995
from an interview with WHTY-TV


"Wendy was in very good shape, and we played on that fact to the hilt and made her as voluptuous as we could. She used to get a . . . lot of fan mail from men, so the costume department knew they were doing something right."

-- Jo Lewis, costumer on Are You Being Served?, 1994
from the Rigelsford AYBS? book


". . . Wendy is always such a motherly soul, eager to help people be at ease. If you're ill it's always Wendy who drops in a get well card. She visits an old folks' home near where she lives, and often takes them fresh eggs from a farm near the studios at Elstree."

-- John Inman, 1998
from his interview in 'Womens' Own' magazine


"I was a terrible giggler -- I still am -- and so is Wendy Richard. It didn't take much for us to set each other off..."

-- Trevor Bannister, 1994
from the Rigelsford AYBS? book


On the professionalism of the Are You Being Served cast:

"Wendy Richard, on the other hand, really is just like herself on the show and has a very dry sense of humor behind that cigarette holder and those electric blue eyes."

-- Jeremy Lloyd, 1994
from his book


On Wendy's appearance at a US Public Broadcasting System fund-raiser telethon in 1993(?):

"On the program she was neither Miss Brahms nor Pauline. She is . . . quite attractive and looked very well. Unlike most US celebrities, she was tremendously low-keyed -- no affections or airs. She made a very lady-like appeal for funds and answered many phone calls from fans who called in to talk to her. . . . She had no Cockney accent, yet she was not speaking the typical "King's" English. She had a very pleasant manner and spoke as though she was just one of us."

-- William Schulze, 1995
personal correspondence


"She's a lovely person."

-- John Inman, 1998
from the Webber AYBS? book


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