Emmerdale icon who made soap history left behind just £8,000 despite TV success

Emmerdale legend Jo Kendall left only £8,000 after she died at the age of 81 in February this year.

Jo went down in history as her character Peggy Skilbeck was known for saying the first ever line in the beloved ITV soap.

Peggy asked "Matt. Who's she?", according to Leeds Live, and stayed on the soap from its first episode to the following July when she was killed off, dying of a brain haemorrhage.

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Peggy, who was the daughter of Jacob and Annie Sugden, and married to Matt Skillbeck, gave birth to the soap's first babies Sam and Sally, who were twins.

Following her exit, Jo appeared in Grange Hill and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as well as BBC's Sorry I'll Read That Again.

Before her death, she spent her days in a retirement home in London and didn't leave a will, passing on just £8,137 to her next of kin.

Despite the small amount, Jo had a lengthy and successful career after rising to fame in a group of Cambridge comedians, including John Cleese and Bill Oddie.

Cleese paid tribute to the actress, saying at the time: "I woke to hear of dear Jo Kendall's death. She was in the 1963 Cambridge Footlights Revue which took her, Tim Brooke Taylor, Bill Oddie, David Hatch, Humphrey Barclay, and me into Show Business.

"Jo performed in over 100 ‘I'm sorry I'll read that Again' shows and the 1948 show.

"She was a very likeable, cheerful, friendly woman – a delight to work with I got to know her well on the 1964 Tour of New Zealand, and subsequently, our appearances on and off-Broadway.

"She was an integral part of the ISIRTA team and we did countless 'John and Mary' sketches. I have many happy memories of her."

Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7.30pm on ITV.


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