Anna Karen has died in a house fire in East London at the age of 85.


The TV star was best known for playing Olive in '70s comedy On the Buses and Peggy Mitchell’s (Barbara Windsor) sister – aka Aunt Sal – in EastEnders.

Firefighters were called to the scene in Ilford on Tuesday evening (22nd February) after neighbours raised the alarm.

Confirming the sad news, Anna's family friend told Mail Online: "We are absolutely horrified at the news about Anna."

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "Sadly, a woman has died following a house fire on Windsor Road in Ilford.

"Part of the ground floor of a mid-terrace house was damaged by fire. Sadly, a woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The Brigade was called at 22:40 and the fire was under control by 2338. Three fire engines and around 20 firefighters from Ilford and Barking fire stations attended the incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation."

Anna was best known for portraying Olive in the sitcom On the Buses from 1969 until 1973. She also reprised the role of Olive in The Rag Trade from 1977 until 1978.

She had roles in two Carry On films – Carry On Camping in 1969 and Carry On Loving the following year.

The actress appeared as Aunt Sal in EastEnders between 1996 and 2017, usually for only brief stints at a time.

Despite the sporadic nature of her appearances, Sal quickly became a favourite amongst EastEnders fans thanks to her hilarious one-liners and no-nonsense attitude.

The actress last appeared on the BBC One soap in January 2017.


As well as a long career in TV and film, Anna also had a number of theatre roles and appeared in numerous pantomimes across the country.