Former Eastenders actress Hilda Braid who starred as Victoria 'Nana' Moon in the soap has died at the age of 78 after a period of ill health.

Braid starred in the BBC1 show from 2002 to 2005 but had spent the last year in Fairdene Nursing Home in Hove, suffering from dementia.

The actress, who also featured in Casualty, Citizen Smith and Man About the House, passed away peacefully at the Royal Sussex County hospital in Brighton yesterday afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed.

An EastEnders spokesman said: "We at EastEnders are very sorry to learn that Hilda has passed away.

"She was a lovely actress who brought her great humour and wit to the role of Nana Moon which earned her many fans, young and old alike."

He continued: "She was a much-loved member of our cast who appeared in over 200 episodes of EastEnders, most notably the award-winning episode that saw her character, Nana Moon, visit her beloved late husband's grave in Normandy with grandson Alfie Moon.

"Everyone at EastEnders sends deepest sympathies and condolences to her family and close friends at this sad time."

Shane Richie, who played her onscreen grandson, paid tribute to the Rada-trained actress last night.

He told the Mirror: "She was my nana on screen and in real life. I adored her. I'll really miss her."

07/11/2007 10:47:08