East London actress killed in road crash was ‘full of life’

Joanna as Miss Flannery in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Joanna as Miss Flannery in Thoroughly Modern Millie. - Credit: PMA London

Tributes have poured in for an actor and singer tipped for stardom who has died after being hit by a car.

Joanna Reyes was described as full of life and a positive person

Joanna Reyes was described as full of life and a positive person - Credit: PMA London

Joanna Reyes, 37, who lived with her parents in East Ham, died after being hit by a white Range Rover Sport after leaving Shoreditch’s City Academy.

Her agent Linda Bradley said Joanna had been “full of life” and was a positive person. She said the world had “lost somebody special”.

“Joanna never complained about anything,” said the founder of talent agency PMA London.

“She was the life and soul of any event. She was just incredible.”

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She added: “It really does feel just as if I have lost my daughter.”

Joanna was struck and killed by a Range Rover on a island in the middle of Commercial Road just before 11.30pm last Thursday.

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Linda spoke to the Recorder this morning after visiting Joanna’s devastated parents Nicolas and Adelina Reyes at their home.

She said Joanna’s parents had lived in East Ham for a few years and their daughter had loved the area.

She said Joanna had kept her acting success a secret from her family.

“Her parents did not even know she was going to auditions,” she said.

Linda added that Joanna’s parents soon realised something was wrong on the night she died when she didn’t come home.

“They said they always worried about her getting home. She never used the Tube.

“They said ‘we knew something was wrong because she normally texted us to say she getting on a bus’.”

Linda added: “Joanna was the most vibrant person who has now left a huge void in everyone’s lives.”

The budding star was signed by PMA London in March after Linda saw her perform in a theatre show.

“She was naturally very funny,” she said.

Joanna died just as she was on the cusp of big things, with several film roles in the pipeline.

The former Sylvia Young Theatre School pupil was tipped for West End stardom after starring as Miss Flannery in Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Adelphi Theatre and taking leading roles in many of City Academy’s productions.

“For six years we were lucky enough to work with Jo and to watch her on stage and grow as a performer,” the performing arts academy said in a statement.

“Jo’s comic timing could often make a show all by itself. We all knew that she was destined for great things – she lit up every stage in a way that only she could.

Hundreds of balloons were released in a memorial service yesterday held by Urdang Academy, where Joanna worked as a receptionist and course co-ordinator.

Joanna was said to have known “everybody’s name”.

Stephanie Ocampo tweeted yesterday: “Jo’s memorial today was beautiful. So proud to be part of the Urdang family right now and I feel truly blessed to have met Jo...”

A 44-year-old man arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has been bailed until March.

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