Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses star’s marriage to an EastEnders actor and the tragic death of son at six weeks old

She also starred in one of John Sullivan's other celebrated sitcoms

It’s no secret that the Only Fools and Horses cast was overflowing with talent, so many side characters with limited screen time often bringing the biggest laugh of certain episodes. One of those who only featured briefly in the sitcom was Ann Lynn, who appeared in just one episode.

Ann played Audrey Turner, the mother of Raquel and grandmother of Damien Trotter. In the episode Time On Our Hands, Audrey and Raquel’s dad James meet Del Boy for the first time as they come over to the Trotters’ for dinner.

In the end Uncle Albert accidentally mixes up the gravy with coffee, spoiling the dinner as everyone’s food is covered in the caffeinated drink. Thankfully everyone keeps the meal from descending into chaos and announce they are full and won’t be eating.

Ann as Rita Pinner in Just Good Friends (Image: BBC)

While this was Ann Lynn’s only appearance in the most famous John Sullivan sitcom, she had already worked with the celebrated screenwriter on another of his TV projects Just Good Friends, where she played Rita Pinner for two seasons in 1984 and 1986.

Away from her work with John Sullivan though, Ann’s life was one beset by tragedy. Aged just 18 after growing up in Fulham to become a budding film star she fell for celebrated actor Anthony Newley but the pair’s relationship was fraught and marked by infidelity on his part. The pair eventually married when she fell pregnant in 1956 and welcomed guests like Sean Connery to the ceremony.

Their son Simon was born four months later with the condition spina bifida. Tragically the baby died just six weeks later due to a congenital infirmity leaving Ann bereft.

Despite this tragedy Newley’s affairs continued and in 1963 Ann successfully divorced him on the grounds of his adultery with iconic actor Joan Collins. She would eventually find happiness with long-time partner Aubrey Dewar, who died in 1988.

As it turned out Ann’s role in Only Fools and Horses marked the last job of a sparkling 60+ years on screen, retiring to Oxfordshire after this to live a quiet life until her death in 2020 aged 86.

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