Where are EastEnders' Fowler family stars now? MailOnline reveals varying fortunes of show stalwarts

Where are EastEnders' Fowler family stars now? MailOnline reveals varying fortunes of show stalwarts

Since its first episode aired in 1985, EastEnders has introduced a number of iconic families that have left an impression for longtime viewers.

And none more so than the Fowler family, who were part of the soap opera’s original line-up and became linked to the famous Beale family when Pauline Beale married Arthur Fowler.

MailOnline takes a look at what happened to the recognisable stars of the Fowler family throughout the generations after they left Albert Square.

From a tragic death at the age of 20 to a Line of Duty director and a Bridgerton star, the fortunes of the show’s stalwarts have been varied.

Melanie Clark Pullen, who played Pauline Fowler’s niece Mary Flaherty, tragically died at the age of 46 on March 29 after losing her battle with cancer.

Family: When EastEnders began in 1985, the Fowlers consisted of Pauline (Wendy Richard) and Arthur (Bill Treacher) and their children Mark (David Scarboro), Michelle (Susan Tully) and Martin (Jon Peyton Price)

Family: When EastEnders began in 1985, the Fowlers consisted of Pauline (Wendy Richard) and Arthur (Bill Treacher) and their children Mark (David Scarboro), Michelle (Susan Tully) and Martin (Jon Peyton Price)

 

MARK FOWLER JR

Ned Porteous, who played Mark Fowler Jr, the son of Michelle Fowler and Grant Mitchell, has found success since leaving EastEnders after bagging a starring role in Netflix drama Bridgerton.

Ned was part of the later generations of the Fowler family, joining the show in 2016 for a short period before quitting the show and moving to ITV’s Emmerdale, where he played Joe Tate for two years.

Career: Ned Porteous, who played Mark Fowler, has found success since leaving EastEnders after bagging a starring role in Netflix drama Bridgerton

Appearance: Ned was part of the later generations of the Fowler family, joining the show in 2016 for a short period before quitting the show

Career: Ned Porteous, who played Mark Fowler, has found success since leaving EastEnders after bagging a starring role in Netflix drama Bridgerton

Success: The 27-year-old is recognised for his high society role of Lord Wetherby in the first season of Bridgerton

Success: The 27-year-old is recognised for his high society role of Lord Wetherby in the first season of Bridgerton

But the 27-year-old is now recognised for his high society role of Lord Wetherby in the first season of Bridgerton.

Ned’s character Lord Wetherby featured in three episodes of the period drama as the secret lover of famous artist Henry Granville. 

 

MICHELLE FOWLER 

Susan Tully, 54, appeared on the first ever episode of EastEnders as feisty Michelle, the daughter of Arthur and Pauline Fowler.

Susan played the infamous role for a decade until she bid farewell to the show in October 1995, with actress Jenna Russell taking over the role on the character’s return in 2016.

Original: Susan Tully, 54, appeared on the first ever episode of EastEnders as feisty Michelle, the daughter of Arthur and Pauline Fowler

Departing: Susan played the infamous role for a decade until she bid farewell to the show in October 1995

Original: Susan Tully, 54, appeared on the first ever episode of EastEnders as feisty Michelle, the daughter of Arthur and Pauline Fowler

Director:  Susan gave up acting and pursued a career as a producer and director, working behind the camera on Line of Duty, Stella, Too Close, Strike and Lark Rise to Candleford

Director:  Susan gave up acting and pursued a career as a producer and director, working behind the camera on Line of Duty, Stella, Too Close, Strike and Lark Rise to Candleford

During her time as Michelle on the soap, the character was involved in a number of dramatic storylines, famously having two children from one-night stands – Vicki, who she had with Dirty Den, and then Martin, who she had with Grant Mitchell.

Michelle was mentioned throughout the years but hadn’t been seen since she moved to America in 1995, until the character’s shocking return in 2016. 

She had soap bosses trying for nearly two decades to lure her back to the much-loved series but to no avail.

As well as her time on EastEnders, she played rebellious teenager Suzanne Ross in Grange Hill.

New face: Susan played the role for a decade until she bid farewell in October 1995, with actress Jenna Russell (pictured) taking over the role on the character's return in 2016

New face: Susan played the role for a decade until she bid farewell in October 1995, with actress Jenna Russell (pictured) taking over the role on the character’s return in 2016

But Susan gave up acting and instead pursued a career as a producer and director, working behind the camera on Line of Duty, Stella, Too Close, Strike, Lark Rise to Candleford, The Bill and The A Word. 

Jenna, who took over her EastEnders role, was also nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Sarah Brown in West End production Guys and Dolls. 

 

MARK FOWLER 

The role of Mark Fowler, Michelle’s brother, was played by two different actors, with David Scarboro originally playing the delinquent teenager.

The actor left the soap opera after refusing to take part in a racist storyline, with his last appearance on the series being the Christmas Day episode in 1987.

Star: The role of Mark Fowler, Michelle's brother, was played by two different actors, with David Scarboro originally playing the delinquent teenager

Star: The role of Mark Fowler, Michelle’s brother, was played by two different actors, with David Scarboro originally playing the delinquent teenager

Tragic: Following his departure from EastEnders in  1987, David was found dead in East Sussex in 1988 aged just 20 years old

Tragic: Following his departure from EastEnders in  1987, David was found dead in East Sussex in 1988 aged just 20 years old

Rumours swirled at the time that the actor had been fired after being uncooperative on set and turning up late for filming.

Following his departure, David was tragically found dead in East Sussex in 1988 aged just 20 years old. 

After his death, Todd Carty took over the role and played the character for 13 years before leaving in 2003.

The Irish actor, 58, starred in Grange Hill and Tucker’s Luck, while he also had a role as PC Gabriel Kent in The Bill and took part in Celebrity Masterchef. 

 

Successor: After his death, Todd Carty took over the role and played the character for 13 years before leaving in 2003

Successor: After his death, Todd Carty took over the role and played the character for 13 years before leaving in 2003

In 2009, he competed in Strictly Come Dancing and was hilariously dubbed one of the ‘worst contestants ever’ before his elimination after four weeks.  

His entertaining lack of skating skills saw the actor compared to veteran broadcaster John Sergeant, who managed to survive 10 weeks on Strictly Come Dancing after scoring a series of low marks from the judges.

Todd married his partner Dina Clarkin in 1990 and the couple share two sons – James, 26, and 22-year-old Thomas. 

 

PAULINE FOWLER

Matriarch of the Fowler family Pauline was also part of the original line-up and was played on the soap opera by Wendy Richard.

She spent 21 years in Albert Square before her on-screen death in 2006, when she was one of just two original cast members still on the show.

Fierce: Matriarch of the Fowler family Pauline was also part of the original line-up and was played on the soap opera by Wendy Richard

Fierce: Matriarch of the Fowler family Pauline was also part of the original line-up and was played on the soap opera by Wendy Richard

Her first TV appearance was in 1960 with Sammy Davis Junior in Sammy Meets The Girls, but her first real break came in 1962 when she duetted with Mike Sarne on a pop song called Come Outside, which spent 19 weeks at No 1 as an unexpected hit.

She then became a regular face on the small screen after becoming familiar to TV audiences playing Joyce Harker, a regular in the BBC’s 1960s soap The Newcomers. She also had roles in Dad’s Army, Up Pompeii! and The Likely Lads. 

Wendy also appeared in Carry On films, alongside Barbara Windsor, who also went on to become an EastEnders star. 

But it was Are You Being Served? that transformed her into a household name. The show began in 1972 and, with the dazzling Mrs Slocombe and John Inman’s camp ‘Menswear!’ assistant, soon became a hit.

Long run: She spent 21 years in Albert Square until 2006, when she was one of just two original cast members still with the show. She is pictured with Bill, David and Susan in 1985

Long run: She spent 21 years in Albert Square until 2006, when she was one of just two original cast members still with the show. She is pictured with Bill, David and Susan in 1985

Devastating: In 2009, Wendy sadly died at the age of 65 after a lengthy battle with cancer, with more than 100 EastEnders cast members attending her funeral

Devastating: In 2009, Wendy sadly died at the age of 65 after a lengthy battle with cancer, with more than 100 EastEnders cast members attending her funeral

After departing from EastEnders, Wendy was awarded the MBE for services to television in 2000 and in 2007 she was awarded a British Soap Award for Lifetime Achievement for her role in EastEnders. 

But in 2009, Wendy sadly died at the age of 65 after a lengthy battle with cancer, with more than 100 EastEnders cast members attending her funeral. 

She had fought to overcome cancer twice previously, first in the mid-1990s and then in 2002, but an aggressive form of the disease returned in 2008 and she later revealed it was terminal.

While battling the illness she married her long-term partner Mr Burns, her fourth husband, at a star-studded ceremony in London’s Mayfair. 

 

ARTHUR FOWLER

Bill Treacher played Pauline’s husband Arthur in the original line-up of the soap – and was the very first person to be cast for the hit series. 

Arthur saw his daughter pregnant at 16, his son infected with HIV and himself having a breakdown. 

Father: Bill Treacher played Pauline's husband Arthur in the original line-up of the soap - and was the very first person to be cast for the hit series

Hilarious: When leaving in 1996, Bill (pictured in 1992) famously said 'by the time I finished, even the theme music was making me feel ill'

Father: Bill Treacher played Pauline’s husband Arthur in the original line-up of the soap – and was the very first person to be cast for the hit series. He is pictured in 1985 (left) and 1992

Bill, now 91, remained part of EastEnders for 11 years, before going on to continue a successful acting career, starring in a number of hit dramas.

When leaving in 1996, Bill famously said ‘by the time I finished, even the theme music was making me feel ill’. 

He went on to appear in films including George And the Dragon in 2004, as well as series including ITV police drama The Bill and medical show Casualty.

Work: Bill (pictured in 1985), now 91, remained part of EastEnders for 11 years, before going on to continue a successful acting career, starring in a number of hit dramas

Work: Bill (pictured in 1985), now 91, remained part of EastEnders for 11 years, before going on to continue a successful acting career, starring in a number of hit dramas

He is now retired and admitted in 2015 that he is suffering from the degenerative disease ataxia, which affects his balance and ability to walk.

The father-of-two, who is married to Katherine Kessey, 76, recently admitted that he no longer watches EastEnders, slamming it as ‘a load of old rubbish these days’.

 

MARTIN FOWLER

Jon Peyton Price played Martin, the son of Arthur and Pauline, in the original line-up, portraying the character in his early life as a baby from 1985 until 1996, when James Alexandrou took over the role.

James, 37, played the role for more than 12 years, with Martin having affairs and even killing off Jamie Mitchell in 2002, before he left the soap in 2007 to find other acting opportunities. 

Drama: James Alexandrou played the role for more than 12 years, with Martin having affairs and even killing off Jamie Mitchell in 2002, before he left the soap in 2007

Ventures: After his departure in 2007, James had roles in Silent Witness and Casualty and presented BBC Three show Bizarre Crime

Drama: James Alexandrou played the role for more than 12 years, with Martin having affairs and even killing off Jamie Mitchell in 2002, before he left the soap in 2007

Newbie: In 2014, newbie James Bye, whose previous credits included The Great Train Robbery and The Hooligan Factory, arrived to take on the role of Martin and remains on the show

Newbie: In 2014, newbie James Bye, whose previous credits included The Great Train Robbery and The Hooligan Factory, arrived to take on the role of Martin and remains on the show

After his departure in 2007, James had roles in Silent Witness and Casualty and presented BBC Three show Bizarre Crime.

In recent years, he has moved into directing, with his credits including short films Dealer, One More, Sunlight and Hide.

In 2014, newbie James Bye, whose previous credits included The Great Train Robbery and The Hooligan Factory, arrived to take on the role of Martin and remains on the show. 

 

VICKI FOWLER 

Vicki has been played by a number of characters over the years, including Emma Herry from the character’s birth in 1986 until 1998 and Samantha Leigh Martin from 1988 to 1995.

But most recently, Vicki was played by Scarlett Alice Johnson, who took on the role as the daughter of Michelle and Den Watts from 2003 to 2004.

EastEnders: Vicki has been played by a number of characters over the years, but was most recently played by Scarlett Alice Johnson

Role: Scarlett took on the role as the daughter of Michelle and Den Watts from 2003 to 2004

EastEnders: Vicki has been played by a number of characters over the years, but was most recently played by Scarlett Alice Johnson

Credits: The 36-year-old as since starred in 2008 drama Adulthood as the character of Lexi while she also enjoyed a role in BBC Three Comedy Pramface

Credits: The 36-year-old as since starred in 2008 drama Adulthood as the character of Lexi while she also enjoyed a role in BBC Three Comedy Pramface

The 36-year-old as since starred in 2008 drama Adulthood as the character of Lexi while she also enjoyed a role in BBC Three Comedy Pramface.

Her acting credits also include appearances in Casualty, Call The Midwife, Loaded, Big Bad World, Beaver Falls and The Good Karma Hospital.

Scarlett also married her Pramface co-star Sean Michael Verey in 2017 and they welcomed a child together. 

 

REBECCA ‘BEX’ FOWLER

Jade Sharif took on the role of Bex, the daughter of Martin Fowler and Sonia Jackson, in 2005 and remained part of the cast for just two years.

Jade, 22, went on to star in ITV’s Fallen Angel as Lucy Appleton but later quit acting to focus on her studies, sharing her ambitions to become a doctor.

Short stint: Jade Sharif took on the role of Bex, the daughter of Martin Fowler and Sonia Jackson, in 2005 and remained part of the cast for just two years

Short stint: Jade Sharif took on the role of Bex, the daughter of Martin Fowler and Sonia Jackson, in 2005 and remained part of the cast for just two years

Soap operas: In 2014, the role of Bex was taken on by Jasmine Armfield, whose portrayal of the character saw her nominated for Best Soap Actress at the TV Choice Awards

Soap operas: In 2014, the role of Bex was taken on by Jasmine Armfield, whose portrayal of the character saw her nominated for Best Soap Actress at the TV Choice Awards

In 2014, the role of Bex was taken on by Jasmine Armfield, whose portrayal of the character saw her nominated for Best Soap Actress at the TV Choice Awards.

Six years later, Jasmine, 23, left the soap opera and last year starred in a single episode of the BBC’s Doctors as Layla Roberts.

 

EastEnders star Melanie Clark Pullen dead: Actress who played Pauline Fowler’s niece loses cancer battle at the age of 46 

Melanie Clark Pullen has died at the age of 46 after battling cancer.

The EastEnders star, who played Pauline Fowler’s niece Mary Flaherty, died on March 29 after undergoing radiotherapy treatment, according to The Sun.

Melanie, who leaves behind her husband Simon and three children, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019.

Tragic: EastEnders star Melanie Clark Pullen has died at the age of 46 after battling cancer (pictured on EastEnders in 1998)

Tragic: EastEnders star Melanie Clark Pullen has died at the age of 46 after battling cancer (pictured on EastEnders in 1998)

She was given the all-clear the following year, telling The Irish News at the time: ‘I got the all clear, I’m cancer free, which is great, so now it’s all about recovery.’

But in June, she was tragically diagnosed with a brain tumour and kept her fans up to date with her cancer battle online.

She said after her second diagnosis: ‘I was only given the all clear from cancer 18 months ago and it’s a cruel blow to think that I will now be starting into some kind of treatment again and that this time it will be long term and a permanent fixture of my life.’

Melanie starred in EastEnders from 1997 to 1999 as as Mary Flaherty, the long-lost great-niece of Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard). 

Last picture: The mother-of-three was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019 and given the all-clear the following year. But in June she was diagnosed with a brain tumour (seen with her father in an Instagram post from March 14)

Last picture: The mother-of-three was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019 and given the all-clear the following year. But in June she was diagnosed with a brain tumour (seen with her father in an Instagram post from March 14)

Famous family: Melanie starred in EastEnders from 1997 to 1999 as as Mary Flaherty, the long-lost great-niece of Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard who played Pauline is pictured)

Famous family: Melanie starred in EastEnders from 1997 to 1999 as as Mary Flaherty, the long-lost great-niece of Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard who played Pauline is pictured) 

Tributes poured in for the actress, with the official EastEnders Twitter account sharing: ‘We’re deeply saddened to hear that Melanie Clark Pullen has passed away. Our love and thoughts are with Melanie’s family and friends.’

Andrew Lynford, who played Tiffany Mitchell’s brother, Simon Raymond on the show, tweeted: ‘How sad to hear we have lost one of the gang. RIP dear Melanie. Remembering happy days.’ 

Shaun Williamson, who played Barry Evans, penned: ‘This is horrendous news. RIP Melanie [broken heart emoji, broken heart emoji] 

Heartbreaking: Melanie, who leaves behind her husband Simon and three children, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019 (pictured with her family)

Heartbreaking: Melanie, who leaves behind her husband Simon and three children, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019 (pictured with her family) 

Maia Dunphy, the wife of Johnny Vegas, also paid tribute to the ‘generous’ and ‘creative’ star.

The Irish broadcaster wrote: ‘Our funny, beautiful, eccentric, creative Goddess Melanie Clark Pullen is gone. 

‘What a force of nature, & most importantly, what a Mama. Your words and your babies live on. Our love and thoughts are with Simon.’  

Melanie arrived on EastEnders in a series of episodes set in Ireland, and befriends her cousin Mark Fowler before moving to Walford.

Where are EastEnders' Fowler family stars now? MailOnline reveals varying fortunes of show stalwarts

Where are EastEnders' Fowler family stars now? MailOnline reveals varying fortunes of show stalwarts

Where are EastEnders' Fowler family stars now? MailOnline reveals varying fortunes of show stalwarts

RIP: Tributes poured in for the soap star after her premature death

RIP: Tributes poured in for the soap star after her premature death 

Mary breaks her pelvis whilst on holiday in Norfolk and later moves to Scotland with her father Conor and his pregnant lover, Mark’s wife Ruth Fowler.

Actress Melanie also starred in ITV period drama A Dinner Full of Herbs, and crime drama Inspector George Gently.

She also starred as a doctor in 2019 film Ordinary Love, which sees Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville play married couple Joan and Tom, whose lives are changed with Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer. 

As seen on screen: She arrived on the soap opera in a series of episodes set in Ireland before moving to Walford (pictured with co-star Barbara Windsor who plays Peggy Mitchell)

As seen on screen: She arrived on the soap opera in a series of episodes set in Ireland before moving to Walford (pictured with co-star Barbara Windsor who plays Peggy Mitchell) 

Upsetting: Last June, Melanie was tragically diagnosed with a brain tumour and kept her fans up to date with her cancer battle online

Upsetting: Last June, Melanie was tragically diagnosed with a brain tumour and kept her fans up to date with her cancer battle online

Previously speaking to The Irish Times, Melanie explained that she ended up having to tell Lesley’s character Joan that she had breast cancer just days after she had received her own diagnosis in real life.

She told the publication: ‘It could’ve been the same conversation I’d had with the doctors just a few days beforehand. 

‘I think I was still probably in shock when I did that but I was able to go straight into performance mode.’

Melanie, who ran a coaching business Strut and Bellow, said she found it hard to describe in words what it was like battling cancer, saying she got out her feelings through art therapy. 

‘It’s been brutal, horrific, I’m forever changed,’ she added. 

Career: Actress Melanie also starred in ITV period drama A Dinner Full of Herbs (pictured), and crime drama Inspector George Gently

Career: Actress Melanie also starred in ITV period drama A Dinner Full of Herbs (pictured), and crime drama Inspector George Gently

 

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