EastEnders pays tribute to former cast member Sylvia Syms after death

sylvia syms
EastEnders pays tribute to former star after deathGetty Images

EastEnders has paid tribute to former cast member Sylvia Syms after her death yesterday (January 27) at the age of 89.

The veteran actress played Peggy Mitchell's friend Olive Woodhouse in the BBC One soap between 2007 and 2010. She also starred in Thatcher: The Final Days as the titular PM, a Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who serial, Rev, Gentleman Jack and the Keira Knightley version of Doctor Zhivago.

She also had an illustrious career in British film, with arguably her biggest role playing the Queen Mother opposite Helen Mirren in The Queen.

"We are deeply saddened to hear that Sylvia Syms has passed away. Our love and thoughts are with Sylvia's family and friends," the official EastEnders Twitter account shared.

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Plenty of people in the entertainment industry also paid tribute to the actress, with director Edgar Wright tweeting: "Sorry to hear the luminous screen star Sylvia Syms has passed away. She was a magic link between many favourite British films: Ice Cold in Alex, No Trees in the Street, Expresso Bongo, Victim, The World Ten Times Over, Asylum and more. My sympathies to her family and loved ones."

"How sad to hear that Sylvia Syms has died," Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis' widow Carol added. "One of John's favourite films was Ice Cold in Alex so he was so excited to work with her on Heartbeat in an episode called 'Where There's a Will.'"

Elstree Studios chairman Morris Bright tweeted a video and wrote: "Sylvia Syms who has sadly passed away aged 89, talking about her experiences filming the classic Ice Cold in Alex @ElstreeStudios for @TalkingPicsTV. A privilege to have interviewed this very special actress."

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"When I was starting out, Sylvia came to a shorts night at @theatre503 which I had a piece in," Doctor Who and Murdered by My Father writer Vinay Patel added.

"It was a dramedy (all the rage) about choosing your reincarnation in heaven. After, she passed along a note saying: 'That was great – I hope it's just like that.'"

EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.

Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage.

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