SANDY Ratcliff was a familiar face on TV back in the 80s thanks to her role on EastEnders.
Tragically the end of Sandy’s life was a far cry for her career as a TV star – here’s her story.
Who was Sandy Ratcliff?
Sandy Ratcliff, 70, played Sue Osman from the first episode of the BBC1 soap in 1985 until 1989.
She had one of its first hard-hitting storylines when she lost a baby to cot death, sparking a fight with mental health problems.
Sandy started her acting career in Ken Loach’s Family Life in 1971 where she played a schizophrenic teenage girl.
She featured in a host of other films and TV shows, including Couples and Touch and Go, and had a modelling career that at one pointed saw her hailed as “the face of the Seventies”.
But it was EastEnders that made her a household name.
Speaking to The Sun during the 25th anniversary in 2010, Sandy revealed she had retrained as a counsellor before retiring.
How did Sandy die?
Sandy died in a care home on April 6, 2019 after a life battling booze and drugs.
A pal said that poor health forced sandy to quit her flat in Stamford Hill, North London.
They said she had three strokes in five years and had been forced to move out of her flat and into sheltered housing.
The friend also said 92-year-old June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton in the soap, had continued to visit Sandy before her death.
On September 3, 2019 an inquest into Sandy’s death found that she died from an accidental overdose.
A cause of death was given as pneumonia and morphine toxicity, with a post mortem revealing she suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and kidney disease.
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What controversies was Sandy caught up in during her life?
Sandy had demons in real life as well as in EastEnders.
In September 1988 The Sun told how she had a boozy bust-up with her boyfriend on holiday in Tenerife.
The next year the mum-of-one was forced out of the soap by heroin addiction.
In 1991 she appeared at the Old Bailey trial of an ex and claimed they were having sex at the time he was accused of strangling two young women in the basement they shared in North London.
Her story was shot down and Michael Shorey was jailed for life.
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