Still Around at 97, Anna Wing Shows Who's Still Boss

By Larry Jaffee

Anna Wing, MBE, played EastEnders. original matriarch, Lou Beale, as a no-nonsense, old-school disciplinarian who often terrorized her son-in-law Arthur Fowler.

Series co-creator Tony Holland described the character as a .cruel old bag when she wants to be.. Ms. Wing, who will be celebrating her 98th birthday this coming 30 October, used those acting talents once again in a music video that went viral in recent months by the funk band called Quarrel. She plays an East End gangland boss, and seems to relish the role. You can see the video on YouTube here:

YouTube Link

Quarrel leader Rich Lawrence tells the Walford Gazette that he managed to get Ms Wing to appear in the video through his girlfriend.s ex-landlady, a former EastEnders staffer still in contact with the veteran actress.

The video.s plot deals with Wing.s gang leader wanting to rid the world of funk music. Wing attended the video launch party a few months ago. Reports Lawrence: .She was in fine form and enjoyed both our live performance and the debut screening of the video.. Of the video he adds: .It was amazing to have Anna appear in it! She was incredible to work with . she was just able to flip a switch and suddenly turn from a lovely lady into a terrifying angry gangster! A true professional, and an honour to have her appear..

Wing comments: .They really were lovely to work with and it.s nice to support talented young people who are being creative. It was tremendous fun.. In an interview I did with her for the Walford Gazette back in 1996, she explained she implored to the producers that she must have the role of .Lou Beale. because of her authenticity as a real Cockney. She grew up in Hackney, as did her parents and grandparents. .I have the pedigree. I succeeded in the end [convincing the producers that she should play Lou Beale]. I remember the [East End, circa early 1900s] children, all the sounds, the noise, the market. It.s part of your birthright..

Wing was instructed by the show's creators in developing the Lou Beale character .to bring something from your background." As it turned out, the name of Wing.s father was .Albert,. the name of Beale.s deceased husband and fictional neighborhood Square.

Wing.s son, Mark Wing-Davey, told me in September 2010 during a visit I had with him at New York University where he chairs the graduate acting programme, that his mum at the time still climbed every day six flights of stairs to get to her flat. I wouldn.t be surprised if she still does so!

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