Cassidy 'heartbroken' over Richard's death

Natalie Cassidy has paid tribute to her late EastEnders co-star Wendy Richard, describing the actress as her "second mum".

Cassidy, who played Sonia Fowler on the BBC One soap, revealed that she grew close to the Albert Square legend after losing her mother Evelyn to bowel cancer seven years ago.

"I'm heartbroken. It's so sad to lose someone who's so important to me again because of that horrible, horrible word - cancer," Cassidy told the News Of The World.

"I lost my mum to bowel cancer when I was only 19 and after that Wendy and I became so close," she continued. "She cared about me like a mum. I called Wendy my mummy - that's how she would sign off her text messages to me. But she was also a best friend and someone I could talk to about anything."

Richard, who played Sonia's mother-in-law Pauline Fowler, passed away on Thursday following a battle with cancer. She was 65.

"I kept in contact with her husband John Burns every day," Cassidy added. "He told me, 'She went into intensive care but she's cracking jokes and she'll be home soon.' But she took an unexpected turn for the worse. I didn't see it coming."

Cassidy made her final appearance on the soap in February 2007, two months after Richard's character was killed off in the 2006 Christmas episode.

Source - Digital Spy

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