When retired firefighter and paramedic Luis Garcia was deciding how to spend $40,000 that he had available in his savings account, he first considered buying a luxury SUV. He had worked hard for decades, and it seemed like a nice reward as well as a good way to get around comfortably.
Then, he heard about a groundbreaking medication called Narcan that could be used to save patients after overdoses. Instantly, Garcia’s mind was made up. After hearing that the FDA had approved the nasal spray, he bought as much as he could afford with plans to give it away for free.
“Narcan literally brings people back from the dead minutes after they stop breathing, with no side effects,” Garcia said. “I knew that this was the way I wanted to help my community.”
Garcia took his $40,000 and instead of going to the car dealership, he went to buy 800 doses of Narcan, with plans to give them away. “I have never tried drugs, been arrested or been intoxicated,” Garcia said. “I don’t make any money from the addiction field. Nobody I know has been impacted by addiction, but this is a disease that could affect anyone.”
Even then, Garcia wasn’t satisfied. With his initial money spent, he started a GoFundMe campaign so that he could continue buying Narcan kits. The campaign has raised $30,000 in one year.
In addition, Garcia has hosted public awareness classes throughout his native state of Florida. He has also provided over 1,000 doses of Narcan, and 94 of them have been used to actually save a person’s life. He has personally provided a dose of Narcan at the scene of 11 overdoses after monitoring a police scanner.
“Too often, unless people are affected by the disease of addiction, they just don’t seem to care,” Garcia explained. “And that stigma becomes their excuse not to save people’s lives. But this is a problem that affects all of society. And we have to fix it.”
EastEnders Stars Of The Past: Where Are They Now?
It feels like yesterday when EastEnders first aired on British TV. In the last 30+ years, the soap opera has won numerous awards for its compelling storylines and a plethora of fascinating characters. This begs the question: what are the stars of Albert Square doing nowadays?
Anita Dobson – Then
It was ultimately Angie Watts’s classic 80s perm that made her stand out from the crowd during her time in Albert Square. Famous for her eventful relationship with Dirty Den, Anita Dobson’s character was finally strong enough to break it off with him in 1986, on Christmas Day of all days! However, her character arc was marred by a constant battle with alcoholism and in the end, it was the reason she was written out of the show in 2002.
Anita Dobson – Now
After her first run in EastEnders in 1988, Anita Dobson moved onto another ITV show in the form of Split Ends. Most recently, the actress made an appearance in the 2017 Christmas special of Call the Midwife. Dobson has also had a successful career in theater. After her performance in the National Theatre’s Frozen, Brian May’s wife was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actress! Dobson has also made a name for herself in a handful of movies such as London Road and Darkness Falls.
Linda Davidson – Then
The crew at EastEnders knew that they were onto a winner when they cast Linda Davidson as the wild and quirky Mary Smith. During the soap opera’s early run, Mary was a reckless character, getting into all sorts of mischief and ultimately became quite an antagonistic character. Other than her time spent working in the iconic Albert Square laundrette, Mary’s work could be seen in more clandestine corners of the Walford nightlife. This includes a particular form of dancing…
Linda Davidson – Now
Another one of the cast members who was in EastEnders during its infancy, Linda Davidson only lasted a couple of years before going into theater and starring in other projects. These included the likes of Maria’s Child, Bulman, First of the Summer Wine, and The Bill, to name a few. One of Davidson’s most notable theater projects was in the West End’s version of The Rocky Horror Show. Since the turn of the Millenium, the former actress has been heavily involved with digital media.
Patsy Palmer – Then
One of the most beloved redheads in the history of British soap operas, Bianca Jackson was masterfully played by Patsy Palmer. The loud-mouth East Ender was part of some of the most dramatic moments in the show’s history. These included a string of affairs and a challenging marriage with Ricky Butcher, amongst other things. What separated Bianca from other characters was her temper tantrums and ability to defend herself in any given situation. One thing’s for sure; things weren’t easy for Bianca.
Patsy Palmer – Now
In 2014, Patsy Palmer called time on her EastEnders career and moved to the U.S. with her family. Nowadays, Palmer is enjoying herself in Malibu, with her time in Walford being a long-gone memory. Amazingly, Palmer is an accomplished DJ, having been behind the decks since 2012 and has since crossed over into the American DJing scene. It seems though that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree ever since Patsy’s son Charley stayed in England to pursue a career in acting.
Lucy Benjamin – Then
Integral to one of the most heated storylines in the history of EastEnders, Lucy Benjamin stole the show when her character Lisa Fowler, admitted that she tried to kill Phil Mitchell in the classic episode “Who Shot Phil?”
Lucy Benjamin – Now
Although Lucy Benjamin had reprised her role as Lisa Fowler on numerous occasions, she never locked down a recurring role in EastEnders again. However, things turned around for Benjamin when, in 2017, she landed the role of Denise Ellison on the hit medical drama Casualty. That wasn’t all though. Benjamin also took to the stage, performing in the West End show Hairspray. The actress has also appeared on the reality TV show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!
Michelle Ryan – Then
When the Slaters were introduced to EastEnders at the turn of the Millenium, they fitted in perfectly with their rowdy nature and dramatic storylines. One of the standout members of the family was Zoe Slater, who was played by Michelle Ryan. She won numerous awards such as “Best Episode” and “Best Storyline” at the British Soap Awards. Put it this way: if you find out that your sister is actually your mother, and that your uncle is actually your dad, then things are bound to get interesting.
Michelle Ryan – Now
In a daring attempt, Michelle Ryan tried what not many EastEnders stars have been able to do: make it big in the U.S. She ended up landing a role in the short-lived TV show Bionic Woman. Big things were expected from the show. In the end, though, American fans just didn’t take to it. However, Ryan has managed to maintain a modest career back in the UK and even toured with Will Young, performing with him in the show Cabaret.
Gillian Taylforth – Then
Another love interest of Phil Mitchell was Kathy Beale, portrayed by Gillian Taylforth. Starring in EastEnders from the very beginning, Gillian stayed on the show until 2000, with many important storylines along the way. After having a child with Phil Mitchell and leaving with him to go to South Africa, she returned to the show, only to be killed off in a car crash in 2006. Kathy also found out something shocking when she discovered that she had a long-lost daughter.
Gillian Taylforth – Now
Although Gillian’s role as Kathy Beale eventually came to a tragic end, this didn’t stop her from finding fame elsewhere. She had roles on TV shows such as ITV’s The Bill as well as Footballers’ Wives. However, it was Taylforth’s move to soap opera rival Hollyoaks that upset a lot of diehard EastEnders fans. Amazingly, Gillian made a shock return to EastEnders for its 30th Anniversary episode! After that, Gillian continued having a recurring role as Kathy Beale.
Susan Tully – Then
At just 16 years of age, Susan Tully hit the jackpot when she landed the role of EastEnders‘ Michelle Fowler. She was a part of the show from its very start and was a permanent fixture in Walford for the good part of 10 years. Michelle Fowler was talked about by millions after her infamous affair with Dirty Den. She ended up having a child at just 16 years old! Seeing that Tully was adamant that she would never return to EastEnders, Jenna Russell ended up being cast as Michelle in 2016.
Susan Tully – Now
After her role as Michelle came to an end, Susan Tully decided to go into directing instead. She ended up working behind the camera on numerous projects such as The Bill, Getting On, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, The Story of Tracy Beaker, Puppy Love and The A Word, to name a few. Her most recent work came on the show Britannia. However, Tully has also been seen in front of the camera, most notably in the documentary Anna.
John Altman – Then
Another bad guy who had his fair share of crimes in the show, “Nasty” Nick Cotton truly took villainy to another level during his time in EastEnders. John Altman was the man who played Nick. Not only did he kill a handful of people, but there were numerous people who proved to be collateral damage as a result of his actions. In the end, viewers were happy to see the back of Nasty Nick, after he was killed off in 2015.
John Altman – Now
One of the original cast members, John Altman took a well-deserved hiatus after enraging fans with his villainous antics. After being away from EastEnders for five years, Altman came back to the show in 2014. However, his second stint in the soap opera didn’t last too long and on the show’s 30th Anniversary, Nasty Nick was killed off. Since then, Altman has taken part in numerous endeavors outside of acting such as performing in a metal band and even writing his autobiography, In the Nick of Time.
Martin Kemp – Then
When the man from Spandau Ballet, Martin Kemp, joined EastEnders, many fans were foaming at the mouth to see a pop star take to the streets of Walford. Kemp played Steven Owen from 1998 onwards and became a fan favorite despite his antagonistic ways. In 2002, the character was killed off in a car explosion. Before that though, Steve Owen was part of some of the most famous storylines in the show’s history, such as the “Who Shot Phil?” saga, as well as the murder of Saskia Duncan.
Martin Kemp – Now
Not only has Martin Kemp transitioned into theater, appearing in productions such as Peter Pan and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but he has also starred in a variety of other TV shows. These include the likes of Chop Shop, Waterloo Road, and Jack Falls, to name a few. Kemp has also appeared in a variety of reality TV shows such as Celebrity Big Brother and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? He also got behind the camera, directing the 2011 movie Stalker.
Tom Watt – Then
One of the original EastEnders characters was Lofty Holloway, who was played by the talented actor Tom Watt. Seemingly an innocent protagonist, most of Lofty’s character arc revolved around his relationship with Michelle Fowler. An army veteran, Lofty eventually returned to the Square and became a barman at the iconic Old Vic. Lofty spent a lot of time with his sick Auntie Irene before getting romantically involved with Michelle. Those were the highlights of his time on EastEnders.
Tom Watt – Now
Tom Watt was only in EastEnders during the early stages of the show’s run. In 1988, the actor left the show and got heavily involved with radio shows. That wasn’t all though. Watt also became an avid sports journalist, due to his devout passion for all things soccer. Watt was actually the ghostwriter for My Side, the autobiography of David Beckham. Not only did the book win an award at the British Book Awards, but it was also the fast-selling British autobiography of an athlete of all time!
Craig Fairbrass – Then
Another actor who was heavily involved in the “Who Shot Phil?” storyline was the antagonistic Dan Sullivan, who was masterfully portrayed by the actor Craig Fairbrass. Although he came across as a traditional tough guy, we often saw the soft side of Dan in the most testing situations. He didn’t actually shoot Phil, but Dan did have a good motive to. With all the mischief he had already caused in the Square, it was surprising that it wasn’t him!
Craig Fairbrass – Now
Since his time on EastEnders came to an end, bad boy Craig Fairbrass has also managed to star in numerous other projects such as White Noise: The Light, The Bank Job, Rise of the Footsoldier and Devil’s Playground, to name a few. Amazingly, Craig’s son, Luke Fairbrass, ended up producing the movie London Heist, which starred Craig. As a result of his impressive performance, the actor went on to win the Best Actor Award at the Marbella Film Festival.
Nick Berry – Then
Another one of the actors who was in EastEnders during its very first few episodes, Nick Berry portrayed the character of Simon Wicks back in 1985. A popular character, particularly with the ladies, Berry was also a talented singer, having recorded the song “Every Loser Wins.” The song ended up making it into the British charts and even went number one at one point! His most memorable storyline came when he ended up in an affair with Cindy Beale.
Nick Berry – Now
It seems like Nick Berry’s hunkish reputation has only improved since his time on EastEnders came to an end back in 1990. Despite reprise his role in on 2012 episode, Berry has gone on to star in other shows such as the classic Heartbeat, where he portrayed PC Nick Rowan. He also performed the show’s theme song! Upon retiring from acting, he started Valentine Productions and despite being something of a heartthrob, Nick Berry has been happily married since 1994.
Leonard Fenton – Then
One of the first characters on the show, Doctor Harold Legg was played by Leonard Fenton and was with the original cast from the very beginning. Although there have been other doctor characters on the show, Dr. Legg was one of the most memorable. His last appearance came in 2007, but Fenton has starred in the soap opera sporadically since the show started. With so much drama and fighting, it made sense that many of Walford’s community would visit Dr. Legg.
Leonard Fenton – Now
Leaving EastEnders hasn’t stopped Leonard Fenton from finding work. Some of the most notable movies that the actor has had roles in include both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings! Despite nearing his 80s, Fenton has continued to challenge himself, making his directorial debut with 2004’s After Chekhov. Outside of his professional life, Fenton also enjoys spending time behind a canvas, painting. He is happily married to wife Madeline and the couple have had four kids together.
Paul Nicholls – Then
Although he was only on the show for one year, Paul Nicholls left a huge impression on EastEnders after playing his character, Joe Wicks. A young man who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, Joe came to Walford after the death of his sister, looking for his dad. At one point, Joe covered his entire bedroom with newspaper pages with alien stories on them. Nevertheless, Joe ended up becoming a fan favorite, and most notably with the ladies.
Paul Nicholls – Now
Since his time on EastEnders came to an end, Paul Nicholls has worked on a variety of other shows such as Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Law & Order: UK, Holby City and A Thing Called Love, to name a few. He has also appeared on stage in productions such as Billy Liar and Aladdin – Genie of the Ring. Amazingly, Nicholls got into a life-threatening situation when he fell in a waterfall, during a vacation to Thailand in 2017.
Barbara Windsor – Then
Ever heard the phrase “Get outta my pub!?” Well, it was Barbara Windsor who ended up immortalizing the catchphrase while portraying the iconic role of Peggy Mitchell. Windsor started off on EastEnders back in 1994 and quickly became one of the most beloved characters on the show. While her sons Phil and Grant were the tough guys who protected the Queen Vic, it was Peggy’s charm that drew the locals to the central hub of Albert Square, Walford.
Barbara Windsor – Now
Despite her immense popularity, Barbara Windsor officially left EastEnders in 2010. However, she did reprise her role as Peggy in 2016, only to be emotionally killed off shortly after. Ultimately, Windsor decided this was for the best, as she truly wanted to move on from the role. Since then, Windsor has taken to voice acting, playing the Dormouse in the live-action movie Alice in Wonderland. Not only has she written the autobiography All of Me, but Windsor has also been married on three separate occasions.
Adam Woodyatt – Then
Ian Beale is another character who is quintessentially EastEnders. One of the only surviving characters to have been on the show from the very start, Adam Woodywatt is officially the longest-serving actor, having starred in the very first episode back in 1985. On May 27, 2016, Woodyatt made history when he starred in his 3000th episode on the show, an incredible achievement. Ian Beale has also been the most married character in EastEnders’ history, having tied the knot five times!
Adam Woodyatt – Now
Although Adam Woodyatt is still going strong on EastEnders, the actor has, nevertheless, managed to find work elsewhere. Woodyatt recently had a role in the daytime pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. As the main henchman of The Wicked Queen, Woodyatt had a truly refreshing time doing something so different to his work as Ian Beale. “I absolutely love performing in front of an audience as it’s so different to camera – I love the reaction of the audience,” he said.
June Brown – Then
Since the very first episode in 1985, Dot Cotton has been one of the most reliable characters on the entire show. Despite having a nightmare son in the form of Nasty Nick Cotton, Dot had always been a gracious, polite individual who brought a level of class to EastEnders that not many others could. It’s June Brown who has consistently given top performances as Dot for the last 30+ years. The dependable launderette assistant has helped many characters over the years.
June Brown – Now
Although June Brown left EastEnders back in 1993, it only took four years before she made an epic return. Since then, she has practically been a mainstay, despite developing some sight issues in recent times. Amazingly, she allowed the producers to write her health issues into Dot’s storyline. Although she is over 90 years of age, Dot is still going strong on the London-based soap opera and it doesn’t look like she is planning on quitting any time soon.
Letitia Dean – Then
Letitia Dean has had a fascinating story throughout her run in EastEnders as the infamous Sharon Watts. Ever since starring in the first episode, Sharon was a permanent fixture for the following decade. She had a long-winded history with the Mitchells, romantically speaking, with both Grant and Phil. In the messiest of scenarios, Sharon was scheduled to marry Grant, despite being in an affair with his brother. In fact, one of the highest viewed episodes was the one when Grant finds out…
Letitia Dean – Now
Although Letitia Dean walked away from the show in 1995, it wouldn’t take long before she came back. In fact, she had two separate returns; once in 2001 (which lasted for five years) and secondly in 2012. It wasn’t just acting though that Dean was involved with. The actress has had a hit single by the name of “Something Outta Nothing.” That is not all though; Letitia Dean has also starred in reality TV contests such as Strictly Come Dancing.
Dean Gaffney – Then
Around the same time that the Mitchells were making a name for themselves in Albert Square, so did Robbie Jackson. Dean Gaffney started off as a quirky, underdog character, who was born to teenage parents Carol and Gary. After Gary walked out on Carol, Robbie had to become the man of the house, while having to deal with the pressures of school and his social life. Robbie Jackson also wasn’t so successful in the love department either.
Dean Gaffney – Now
Although he was a popular character, Gaffney decided to put Robbie Jackson to bed, leaving EastEnders in 2003. Although he reprised his role a couple of times over the years, he has spent most of his time on reality shows such as I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! He also appeared in shows such as Extras and The Bill. In 2017 though, Gaffney finally returned to Albert Square for a recurring role as Robbie, which delighted the fans.
Michael French – Then
Soon after Michael French landed the role of David Wicks, he saw himself caught up in a variety of messy storylines. Despite his hunkish looks, the character was often involved in a dysfunctional family setting, often forced to take care of his children Joe and Bianca, while also constantly making amends with mother Pat. Despite trying to do the right thing during his time on the show, David often got into trouble with the ladies, having affairs with the likes of Cindy Beale, as well as Carol Jackson.
Michael French – Now
It wouldn’t take long before Michael French developed a reputation for being the go-to man when it came to classic British TV shows. Not only did he have an integral role in EastEnders, but French also starred in medical dramas Holby City and Casualty. Despite reprising his role as David in 2013, he only lasted half a year and has not returned since. French has also appeared on stage in productions such as Art, Heart, and Chicago on the West End.
Steve McFadden – Then
Without a shadow of a doubt, Phil Mitchell is probably the most memorable character in the whole of EastEnders. Best remembered for always whispering even when he was furious about something, the character played by Steve McFadden took the term “brooding” to a whole new level! Despite earning a reputation as a tough guy, along with his brother Grant, fans have got a chance to see the soft side of Phil over the years, making him a more complex character as the years have passed.
Steve McFadden – Now
Let’s face it, you’re only going to be a diehard fan if you know the following factoid: Steve McFadden also had a role in The Bill before landing the role of Phil Mitchell. Not only is Phil still a regular in the soap opera, but Steve McFadden has explored other avenues in TV, such as hosting the show Britain’s Hardest. Although McFadden hasn’t had many other acting credits outside of Albert Square, he did make a brief cameo in the comedy Kevin & Perry Go Large.
Tamzin Outhwaite – Then
The character of Mel Owen was brought to life in a big way by the talented Tamzin Outhwaite. It didn’t take long before the character was at the center of some of the most compelling storylines in the soap opera’s history. Not only did she get married to Steve Owen, but she also tied the knot with Ian Beale on New Year’s Eve! In just four years, Outhwaite achieved a lot. Not only was she popular with the fans, but she also won numerous awards.
Tamzin Outhwaite – Now
With other main roles on shows such as Hotel Babylon and The Fixer under her belt, there is obviously a lot more to Tamzin Outhwaite than just EastEnders. Although she was married to fellow actor Tom Ellis, Outhwaite decided to opt out of the marriage by the time 2014 came around. Nevertheless, the actress is still working regularly and in 2018, Outhwaite finally returned to Albert Square, reprising her role as Mel Owen 16 years after her last appearance on the show.
Ross Kemp – Then
The perfect foil to Phil Mitchell has to be his on-screen brother Grant. The question on all the fans lips was the following: who is your favorite Mitchell, Phil or Grant? The answer always seemed to change every episode. After the joining the soap opera with Steve McFadden back in the early 90s, Ross Kemp introduced an attitude to Walford that had never been seen previously. Always looking to take matters into their own hands, the Mitchell brothers were obvious fan favorites.
Ross Kemp – Now
Ross Kemp is a pretty shrewd guy, having made the most of his bad boy persona. In recent times, Kemp has eclipsed his own reputation as Grant Mitchell by hosting a show revolving purely around gang culture. Since the success that has come from his popular show Ross Kemp on Gangs, the actor has hosted numerous other documentaries focusing on tough environments to live in. There have been two separate times that Kemp has reprised his role as Grant.
James Alexandrou – Then
Although Jon Peyton Price did a decent job as Martin Fowler, it was ultimately James Alexandrou who made the role his own. Best known for his romance with Sonia, Martin Fowler also got into some sticky situations, running over Jamie Mitchell at one point. Soon enough, Martin became a father, bringing Chloe Fowler into the world. Although the producers wanted to get James Alexandrou back as Martin, they ultimately went with James Bye as the new replacement.
James Alexandrou – Now
At just 21 years of age, James Alexandrou left a huge impression on EastEnders and had already achieved so much before finally leaving in 2007. “I’ve decided to leave the show to experience other aspects of my industry,” he said. “Having turned 21, I felt it was a good time to leave. I owe everything to the show and would love to come back one day – that’s if EastEnders would have me.” Alexandrou recently hosted the BBC Three show Bizarre Crime.
Larry Lamb – Archie Mitchell
A few years after characters Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell already became well-established characters in EastEnders, their father Archie joined Albert Square to shake things up. After a series of lies and deception threatened to tear the already troubled family apart for good, Larry Lamb’s Archie left EastEnders, at least for a brief period of time. He ended up returning to the show, only to be killed off on the Christmas Day episode in 2009. “Who Killed Archie?” became a big storyline.
Larry Lamb – Now
Already a well-established actor upon joining EastEnders in 2008, Larry Lamb has since maintained his reputation as one of the more talented performers of British TV. Lamb has had regular roles on other shows such as the hilarious sitcom Gavin & Stacey. He also played the role of Ted Case in the final series of New Tricks, a well-received crime drama on BBC. In 2016, Lamb decided to take to the world of reality television and took part in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.
Nigel Harman – Dennis Rickman
When Nigel Harman joined EastEnders as Dennis Rickman, his identity wasn’t clear, and it didn’t even matter. He developed a reputation as something of an anti-hero. Harman actually described Dennis as “a bit of rough diamond” but with “a sensitive side.” However, when it was revealed that the character was actually the estranged son of the notorious Dirty Den, it took his character to another level. His relationship with his father was further explored before he was fatally stabbed on a New Years Eve episode.
Nigel Harman – Now
Nigel Harman didn’t let his on-screen death as Dennis Rickman stop him from finding work elsewhere. The actor has had roles, big and small, in some of the most popular British TV shows in recent memory. In 2009, he had a recurring role as character Sam Franklin in the critically acclaimed drama Hotel Babylon. Harman has also had roles in shows such as Downton Abbey and Mount Pleasant. He even made a cameo in the Leonardo DiCaprio-led movie Blood Diamond.
Tracey-Ann Oberman – Chrissie Watts
Although Tracey-Ann Oberman only appeared in EastEnders for one year, she left a big impression on Albert Square as the strong female character Chrissie Watts. In what has been described by many as one of the most compelling storylines in the show’s history, Chrissie ended up murdering her husband in an act of revenge. Oberman received thunderous acclaim for her performance as Chrissie and that episode was watched by a staggering 14.34 million people, which at the time, was 60% of the possible viewership.
Tracey-Ann Oberman – Now
EastEnders isn’t the only TV show that Tracey-Ann Oberman has had a regular role on in recent times. After leaving Albert Square in 2005, the actress jumped onto the short-lived animation series Bromwell High. This was soon followed by a two-episode appearance on the popular sci-fi series Doctor Who. Other shows that Oberman has had regular roles in include Sorted and Toast of London. Since 2016, Oberman has had a voice role in the classic animated series about Thomas the Tank Engine, Thomas & Friends.
Michael Greco – Beppe di Marco
During his four years in Albert Square, Beppe di Marco was the man that every other man wanted to be and every woman wanted to be with. Soon after Michael Greco joined the cast of EastEnders in 1998, his character was in a series of relationships and was often at the center of much drama. After he was caught trying to frame Grant Mitchell, Beppe was fired from the police force and ended up working for his family business, the Italian restaurant Giuseppe’s.
Michael Greco – Now
There is no denying that Michael Greco has made a concerted effort to remain a popular figure with the ladies since leaving Albert Square. The actor has remained in top physical shape. However, there is so much more to Greco than just a strict fitness routine. The actor is a keen professional poker player, competing on both the European Tour and the World Series of Poker. Greco has also starred in numerous reality TV shows such as Soapstar Superstar and Soccer Aid.
Jack Ryder – Then
One of the most popular characters who ended up meeting a tragic end has to be Jamie Mitchell, who was played by the talented actor Jack Ryder. After getting into a relationship with Sonia Fowler, things took a turn for the worst when Jamie found out that she was pregnant with Martin’s baby. His uncle Billy didn’t treat him very nicely at all. Then, on Christmas Day, Jamie was tragically killed off. The fans were completely devastated by the events that had transpired.
Jack Ryder – Now
Despite his time on EastEnders coming to a tragic end, Jack Ryder has continued to have roles both in film and theater. That’s not all though; Ryder has also built up some experience in both directing and production. Gary Barlow called him up to play the role of Tim Firth in the hit musical The Girls. As a result, he became the director of the Take That musical The Band. Ryder also starred in In the Club.
Deepak Verma – Then
Although Sanjay Kapoor was one of the most beloved characters on the show, there was no denying that some of his actions were questionable, to say the very least. Deepak Verma gave a stunning portrayal of the character who enjoyed making the odd dollar here and there through a variety of clandestine activities. That’s not all though; Sanjay also developed a small addiction to gambling. Another of Sanjay’s vices happened to be women. He had plenty of relationships during his time on the show.
Deepak Verma – Now
Deepak Verma’s time as Sanjay was up before the turn of the Millenium. In spite of this, the actor went on to open his own TV company by the name of Pukkanasha Films. The main goal of the company was to promote representation in the arts and make casts in TV shows and movies as diverse as possible. Some of the screenplays that Verma has written include Eastside Story, Tandoori Chicks, and London Gold. In 2017, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Charlie Brooks – Then
If there was ever more ruthless female villain than Janine Butcher, then we would like to know. Charlie Brooks’s character took the show to another level when she married Barry Evans. When the newlyweds went on honeymoon to the Scottish Highlands, Janine did the unthinkable and pushed Barry off a cliff. After doing such a terrible deed, she walked down to the bottom and looked at her husband to make sure that he was actually dead. What a villain!
Charlie Brooks – Now
Although Janine got a reputation for being a remorseless villain on EastEnders, Charlie Brooks is actually a sweetheart and went on to make a name for herself elsewhere. She ended up releasing numerous workout DVDs that became bestsellers. Other shows that Brooks starred in included Bleak House, The Bill, and Wired, to name a few. In 2008, Brookes shocked the British audience when she reprised her role as Janine. Despite being scheduled to work for just a year, she stayed in EastEnders until 2014.
Martine McCutcheon – Then
One actress who had a massive impact on the EastEnders lore was Martine McCutcheon, who was cast as Tiffany Mitchell. With a troubled backstory involving her parents, Tiffany’s own personal life was also eventful, after getting romantically involved with Grant Mitchell, of all people. It didn’t help that he was her landlord! However, it was Tiffany’s untimely death that fans will never forget, and the timing of it. She was written out of the show on New Year’s Eve!
Martine McCutcheon – Now
It seems like there was much more to Martine McCutcheon’s departure from EastEnders than just an epic New Year’s Eve death. Because the actress was pursuing a career as a musician, the producers decided that they didn’t want to have her back even if she wanted to. However, this hasn’t stopped Martine from having success elsewhere, having starred in the cult classic Love Actually. She has also released four albums, with her most recent effort Lost and Found reaching number 17 in the British charts.
Michelle Collins – Then
One of the more controversial characters in the soap opera, Cindy Beale was one of the most philanderous characters in the history of EastEnders. Michelle Collins’s character was constantly trying to make things work with Ian Beale. However, she always ended up cheating on him with anyone she considered more attractive. Ultimately, Cindy will be remembered for constantly giving into her temptations and always putting her own desires first, ignoring her responsibilities to those who actually mattered in her life.
Michelle Collins – Now
There has only been a handful of actors/actresses who have made the biggest transition from one great UK show to another – EastEnders to Coronation Street. Amazingly, Michelle Collins was one of them. She ended up appearing in Coronation Street for a couple of years before having a six-episode run on the equally popular show Casualty. Collins has also made a name for herself on the theater scene, starring in productions such as The Demolition Man and even Romeo & Juliet.
Leslie Grantham – Then
Arguably the most infamous character to come out of EastEnders, Den Watts was better known by his nickname Dirty Den. He developed the moniker after a series of questionable decisions, and got a reputation for being one of the most notorious villains in the soap opera’s history. Not only did Den get Michelle Fowler pregnant when she was just 16, but he also got killed off on two separate occasions! He ended up being buried underneath the beloved Queen Vic.
Leslie Grantham – Now
Unfortunately, things haven’t been so good for Dirty Den off the screen as well. Ever since leaving Albert Square, Leslie Grantham has been involved in numerous scandals. Not to mention, long before his time on EastEnders, Grantham was involved in a murder case back in the 60s! However, Leslie has also seen some good days since his time on EastEnders came to an end, having a starred as the villain in a pantomime, as well as starring in The Bill.
Following his second stint on Eastenders, Leslie went onto appear as a stage villain in pantomime, and also appeared on The Bill, but then a saddening message has hit the press and drove his fans to tears – it would seem the star was terminally sick. The London-born (and raised) actor moved out of the United Kingdom following his split from ex-wife Jane following 31 years of marriage, and moved on to act in The English Neighbour in Bulgaria. But then…
Praying For The Best
The 71-year-old, who achieved his fame after playing “Dirty” Den Watts in the BBC soap, has returned from Bulgaria, where he was living and being closely monitored by doctors. A spokeswoman for Leslie “Dirty Den” confirmed to The Sun: “It’s true that Leslie is very poorly.” A friend told The Sun that also he has around the clock health care, it’s his friends that matter – “Leslie is being looked after. Those who are close to him are hugely worried and are praying for his well-being.”