Meg Johnson: Emmerdale star leaves £375k in her will, here's who she gave it to

Meg Johnson accumulated a lot of wealth over the years as a soap opera star.

Meg Johnson Emmerdale will
© United News/Popperfoto/GETTYIMAGES
Meg Johnson Emmerdale will

After the death of Emmerdale actress Georgina Hale, another story has broken regarding an even longer-standing star of the soap. Meg Johnson, whose real name was Margaret Foster, played Pearl Ladderbanks in the hit show over the course of 17 years. Meg sadly passed away last year, leaving fans and family devastated.

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Now, light is being shed on the arrangements regarding her fortune - amassed over a career on the stage and the screen. Let’s take a look into her early life, career and the details of her will.

Meg Johnson was evacuated during WWII

Meg was born in Manchester on 30 September 1936. Her mother was a former bus conductor and her father was a brewery foreman. When the war hit, young Meg was evacuated to Bolton and it was there that she developed a love for performing. At six years old, and despite an asthma diagnosis, she was already singing and dancing at the Grand theatre.

It wasn’t all glitz and glamour: before her career really took off, Meg worked as a secretary and dental nurse. In 1956, Meg married Hibbert Johnson and the pair had a daughter and son together, but their relationship ended in divorce. Amateur opera and drama groups led the way for Meg to appear in a show at Oldham repertory theatre in 1960, and for the next 40 years she would return to perform in the venue.

Meg’s career

In 1983, she made her West End debut as Widow Corney in Oliver! Along with several successful performances on the stage, she also featured in small TV roles but her first extended run on screen came through the WWII sitcom Yanks Go Home. She played the pint-pulling Phoebe Sankey, and the role springboarded her into the world of television.

Meg played a couple of smaller parts on the iconic Coronation Street before landing the role of Eunice Nuttall, which she played from 1981-82. It was in 2003 that she became Emmerdale’s iconic Pearl Ladderbanks, and she won over fans with the memorable character until 2020 when she had to quit filming to shield from Covid 19.

Meg’s will

Meg passed away in July last year at 86 years old. She died surrounded by her family, afterliving with dementia for the last few years of her life. Documents show that the star left £375,000 in her will. Her husband, ITV News presenter Charles Foster, died four months before she did, so most of her assets will be left to her two children, Nicholas and Stephanie. She also left Stephanie a large diamond ring and gave another five-stone diamond ring to her daughter-in-law Saheli.

When she died, ITV had some kind words to say about the soap star. The channel explained that, despite her dementia, she had 'battled on personally and professionally' and would be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.'

Meg was a kind and wonderful lady, full of warmth and always with a twinkle in her eye.

Meg knew exactly who she wanted to pass her assets on to a long time before she died - she signed the final version of her will back in 2012.

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Sources used:

The Sun: WHERE THERE'S A WILL Emmerdale legend Meg Johnson left £375,000 in her will, doc show

Express: Emmerdale's Pearl Ladderbanks star Meg Johnson remembered in heartbreaking final scene

The Guardian: Meg Johnson obituary

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