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Friday 19th July 2019

Original EastEnders cast member Sandy Ratcliff has died aged 70

Her body was discovered on Sunday morning

Former EastEnders actress Sandy Ratcliff has died aged 70.

The actress - who played Sue Osman from 1985, when she starred in the first ever episode of the BBC One soap, to 1989 - was found dead in a North London care home.

Sandy played out some hard-hitting storylines during her four years in Walford, such as losing her baby to cot death and divorcing her husband Ali (Nejdet Salih), but she also faced her own drink and drugs demons off-screen.

Sandy played Sue Osman in EastEnders from 1985 up until 1989 (Credit: BBC)

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I remember the first time I auditioned for the show, we had this instant chemistry and banter.

Co-star Nejdet told The Sun newspaper: "It's very sad. I remember the first time I auditioned for the show, we had this instant chemistry and banter.

"I was a young actor and she helped me develop so much.

"We had a lot of fun on the show and had some really good storylines.

"Obviously the cot death storyline was massive and really important. We wanted to do the best job we could.

"I remember going to her flat to rehearse lines and her son William and boyfriend Tony would be there.

"She was a great mum. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for William."

Sandy played out some hard-hitting storylines during her time in the Square (Credit: BBC)

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A friend told the publication that Sandy had been clean of drugs for some time.

And June Brown - who plays Albert Square legend Dot Cotton - is said to have visited Sandy recently.

Nejdet added: "In the earlier days some of the old cast kept in touch with her, but June was the one who had seen her most recently."

Sandy's body was discovered on Sunday morning (07.04.19).

Sandy's EastEnders co-star June Brown is said to have visited her recently (Credit: SplashNews)

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An ambulance spokesman said: "We sent two single responders in cars and an ambulance crew. Sadly, a person was found dead at the scene."

Sandy's first major role came in 1971 Ken Loach BAFTA-nominated movie Family Life, and she also starred opposite Dame Helen Mirren in 1980s film Hussy.

She also appeared in several TV shows, including Minder and The Sweeney.

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