Kate Saunders’ sister announced the sad news of her death on Twitter. She wrote: “My sister, who we lost last Friday. The warmest, bravest, most generous, and most brilliant woman I will ever know. Heaven knows how we will live without her.”
The official Twitter account for Only Fools And Horses also posted a tribute to the actress.
A spokesperson wrote: “We are sorry to learn of the passing of Kate Saunders, who played policewoman Sandra in the episode The Long Legs of the Law in 1982.
“In addition to her acting career, Kate was an award-winning novelist, journalist and critic. Our thoughts are with her family.”
Kate Saunders played policewoman Sandra in a 1982 ep of Only Fools And Horses.
Kate’s character in the BBC sitcom dated Rodney Trotter (Nicholas Lyndhurst) after they met when she had been called to a brawl at the Nag’s Head.
Unsurprisingly, their romance was frowned upon by Del Boy and Grandad due to the family’s dodgy dealings.
Their short-lived fling ended when Sandra recognised the stolen gear in the flat and told Rodney she would give him 24 hours to shift the stuff before coming along with a search warrant.
Award winning writer Kate Saunders wrote more than 20 books in her long career.
Following her appearance, Kate soon realised that her true calling was writing.
She wrote 12 novels and 10 children’s books, with her debut winning her The Betty Trask Award in 1986, when she was just 26.
Her best-known works include The Prodigal Father (1986), Wild Young Bohemians (1995), and Five Children on the Western Front (2014).
Kate also wrote for several newspapers and magazines, including Sunday Express, The Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, She and Cosmopolitan.
Kate also became a regular face on television and radio with appearances on Have I Got News for You, and BBC Radio 4 programmes Woman’s Hour, Start the Week and Kaleidoscope.