Devastated stars attend funeral of On The Buses and EastEnders icon Anna Karen

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Devastated stars turned out in full force for the funeral of Anna Karen today (Friday, March 18).

The On The Buses and EastEnders star tragically died last month in a horror blaze at her mid-terrace home in Ilford, with neighbours raising the alarm after they heard the smoke alarm going off.

Though the fire brigade arrived quickly and neighbours rushed to help, Anna was sadly found dead inside her house.

The star was best known for her role as Olive in On The Buses, and Aunt Sal in EastEnders.

Today she was laid to rest with some of her closest friends and co-stars in attendance, including Emmerdale’s Linda Lusardi and her husband Samuel Kane.

Also attending was the late Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband Scott Mitchell, who was seen standing around the funeral cars by Linda’s side.

Anna had co-starred with Barbara in the Carry On films, and was reunited with the star when she began work on EastEnders as her on-screen sister in 1996 – a role she kept up until 2017.

A whole host of EastEnders stars also showed up to support Anna’s family, including Big Mo star Laila Morse, Nick Cotton actor John Altman and Pete Beale actor Peter Dean.

Other celebs also turned up to the event – Allo Allo star Vicky Michelle, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum star Melvyn Hayes, Love Thy Neighbour’s Kate Williams, and Coronation Street’s Terry Duckworth star Nigel Pivaro.

Anna was celebrated with an abundance of beautiful flowers, including a book-style arrangement featuring a black-and-white photo of her in her younger years, wearing her iconic Olive glasses.

Her name was spelled out in white flowers atop a hearse as the funeral procession moved slowly down the streets, and while her coffin was carried into Golders Green Crematorium it was adorned by lilac blooms.

There were tears from attendees, with Linda clutching her husband’s hand for support as they made their way into the crematorium.

Anna was 85 when she died, with one of her neighbours telling The Sun at the time of the blaze: "There was a lot of smoke, and flames, people in the street had seen what was happening and came out to try and help.

"The fire brigade and police were here quickly and kicked down the door, there was so much smoke."

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  • Coronation Street
  • Eastenders
  • Emmerdale
  • ITV

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