Sandy Ratcliff, who is best known for portraying Sue Osman in Eastenders , died from an accidental overdose alone in sheltered housing, an inquest found.
The troubled star appeared on the London-based soap from 1985 to 1989, and was a member of the original EastEnders cast.
An inquest, which was held in London today, revealed the star died in her Stamford Hill sheltered housing flat in April, aged 70.
During the hearing at Poplar Coroners Court, Chief coroner Mary Hassell ruled the actress had passed away from an accidental overdose.
She explained the star died from excess morphine and two natural life limiting conditions.
Carer Amina Begum told the corner she last saw Ratcliff the previous afternoon around 5:30pm when she asked for some shopping.
In a statement she read to the court, she said: “She was in a good mood, talkative, laughing. She asked for oranges, black coffee and biscuits. That was the last time I saw her”
“She was in pain and and used drugs illicit and later prescribed during her life. Her intent was not to end her life.”
The inquest heard she was found dead in bed by her carer, and she had a a morphine level of 0.19 – slightly above the normal therapeutic levels.
During her time on Eastenders, her character Sue, the long-suffering wife of cafe owner and mini-cab boss Ali Osman, contended with many shocking storylines including cot death, infidelity, and finally, insanity.
In 1989 she was written out of the show following her highly publicised off-screen battle with heroin.
She later starred in opposite Michael Gambon in Maigret in 1992, and in the BBC2 productions A Box Of Swan in 1990 and 1994’s Men Of The Month.
After beating her addiction to drugs, she quit acting in 2010 and retrained as a councillor.
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