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24/05/2020 11:05 BST

Heather Chasen, Former EastEnders And Crossroads Star, Dies Aged 92

She was known for playing Janine Butcher’s grandmother Lydia Simmonds on the BBC soap.

Former soap star Heather Chasen has died at the age of 92. 

The actor was best known for playing Janine Butcher’s grandmother Lydia Simmonds in EastEnders, and Valerie Pollard in defunct soap Crossroads. 

BBC
Heather Chasen played Lydia Simmonds in EastEnders

News of Heather’s death was confirmed by her close friend, former Coronation Street star Amanda Barrie

She tweeted on Saturday: “Remembering the fabulous Heather Chasen who sadly left us yesterday.

“She was wonderfully eccentric, gloriously funny, and a very special actress. There’ll never be another like her. Will always miss her.”

Heather made a name for herself on ITV’s Crossroads, initially appearing in a minor role as a journalist in 1982. 

She was invited back later that year, playing barmaid Valerie until her departure from the Midlands motel in 1986. 

ITV/Shutterstock
Heather Chasen (seen here with Claire Faulconbridge) played Valerie Pollard in Crossroads

In 2011, Heather was cast as the grandmother of long-standing character Janine Butcher, and played Lydia for two months until her on-screen death. 

Heather was also known for appearing in daytime TV drama Marked Personal between 1973 and 1974, playing Isabel Neal opposite Stephanie Beacham. 

She also had guest roles in the likes of Doctors, Holby City, Family Affairs, Casualty and The Bill, as well as a minor part as Madame Magloire in the 2012 big-screen adaptation of Les Misérables.