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She started out as an artist's model. During the Second World War, she worked in East End hospitals. She was married at thirty, but divorced three years later. She had a long relationship with the poet Phillip O'Connor. Anna is the mother of actor and theatre director Mark Wing-Davey.
She is well remembered for portraying the Beale and Fowler family matriarch Lou Beale in the BBC television series EastEnders from the show's inception in 1985 to 1988. Anna quit her role in the hit show as she was unhappy with the direction it was going, but has since reflected that it may not have been the right decision.
An earlier soap appearance of hers was in Market in Honey Lane for ATV in the late 1960s. Other notable television credits include roles in Dixon of Dock Green, Z-Cars, Play for Today and The Sweeney among countless others.
Since leaving EastEnders, she worked on stage, playing Madame Arcati, in Noel Coward's comedy Blithe Spirit. She has also had numerous television roles, including parts in Casualty, Doctors, French and Saunders, The Bill as well as adding her vocal talents to the animated series Fungus the Bogeyman. She had a part in the 2004 film The Calcium Kid with Orlando Bloom.
In 2005 she made a public appearance at the British Soap Awards, where she presented June Brown with a life-time achievement award for her portrayal of Dot Branning in EastEnders.
In 2005, Anna formed part of the cast of the short film Ex Memoria, directed by Josh Appignanesi and produced by Oscar-winning producer Mia Bays. The short film tells of a woman's struggle with Alzheimers. EX MEMORIA was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Best Short in 2006.
Anna Wing had radical political views and was associated with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. She suffered from poor health in her later years and used a walking stick.