Her agent Kevin Francis said: “She was incredibly brave and retained her sense of humour right to the end.”
Richard had survived two bouts of breast cancer before it came back last autumn. This time the cancer attacked her kidneys, bones and spine.
She married her partner John Burns not long after being told that the cancer was terminal.
She was a popular actress in the UK appearing on Are You Being Served?, Dad’s Army and Grace and Favour. She is best known for the role of EastEnders matriarch Pauline Fowler. For 21 years she graced the small screen until 2006 when her character died.
She left the role because of objections with some parts of her storyline. At one point Richard accused the writers for using the soap opera as a means for their own political opinions. Her character had been written to have a tirade against Margaret Thatcher; Richard refused to perform the scenes.