|Portrayed by||Mike Reid|
|Introduced by|| Julia Smith (1987)|
Mike Gibbon (1988)
Corinne Hollingworth (1995)
Jane Harris (1997)
Matthew Robinson (1998)
Louise Berridge (2002)
Kate Harwood (2005)
|First Appearance||8 September 1987|
|Last Appearance||9 December 2005|
|Cause/Reason||Moved to Spain, where he later died of throat cancer|
|Other names||Neville (Alias as he faked his death)|
|Age||68 years and 2 days|
|Date of Birth||27 March 1940|
|Date of Death||29 March 2008|
|Occupation|| Businessman |
Francis Aloysius "Frank" Butcher was a popular character in EastEnders from 1987 to 2005, although at times he appeared sporadically. Frank started out as a used car-salesman. He met Pat Harris at Butlins in Clacton in 1958 and although he was holidaying with his girlfriend June, he became infatuated with Pat. They began an affair, but then June fell pregnant with Frank's child, so he married her and broke Pat's heart. Frank and Pat would meet up from time to time, and on each occasion the affair would be rekindled. But Frank wouldn't leave June, and Pat eventually married and had children of her own.
Tiffany Mitchell - Accidentally ran over by a car driven by Frank.
Alan Hall (instigated): While he never killed the car lot vagrant in 1994, he played a part. He persuaded Phil to torch the car lot for insurance. Phil finally relented and torched the car lot, naturally not expecting a vagrant to be asleep in one of the cars. Phil and Frank were grief stricken.
Francis Aloysius Butcher was born on the 27th March 1940 in Walford, London to London Transport worker Chike Butcher and Mo Butcher. Chike was the nickname for Frank's father. In 1944 Frank was timpy toed and was admitted to hospital. Frank met Pat Harris while on holiday in Clacton, Essex in the summer of 1958. Frank was dating June and stayed with her but kept in touch with Pat. Frank had a roving eye for the ladies and was a spiv, a ducker and diver. He sometimes was involved in dodgy deals.
In September 1987 Frank decided to get in contact with Pat once again. They met briefly in Greenwich and Frank informed her of his wife's death, told her that he wanted to reignite their romance and also wanted her to be the mother of his children. He even offered her the chance of a quick romp in a nearby hotel, which deeply offended Pat and she stormed off.
Frank came in search of Pat for a second time in January 1988. Pat was still resistant but on a Frank's third appearance in March he got a job at the Vic and he finally managed to convince her to make another go of things and suggested that they take over tenancy at The Queen Vic since Den and Angie Watts were considering moving on, even though Den was planning to still live locally but run a nearby business called Strokes Wine Bar. In order to be granted the lease Frank and Pat were forced to bribe the brewery manager Reg Sparrow. Frank and Den liaised for a while and became good friends. After successfully winning the tenancy Frank moved his children Ricky and Diane into the Vic, whilst Janine was put in the care of his eldest daughter Clare away from Walford. The Butchers also inherited a new dog from Den, Roly the poodle. By the end of the year Frank's domineering mother, Mo, also moved to the Square and attempted to run her son's life. In 1990, Frank gave up the Vic and set up a car firm. He sold the pub to Eddie Royle. That year he dragged his daughter Diane home after she ran away. Frank gained a bit of a reputation as a bit of a spiv, a flash dressing car salesman who did the odd dodgy deal. He became friends with Phil Mitchell and Grant Mitchell.
In December 1992, Pat accidentally run a girl over. She was imprisoned for a few months for manslaughter. Frank struggled without Pat and the cab firm hit financial difficulties.
In 1993, a rival cab firm forced Frank to close down his business and Frank and Pat finished the year in financial ruin. Frank sold his share of the cafe and one of his flats for a pittance to Phil Mitchell, who could not raise the cash Frank initially required. Frank's financial woes continued, and he had crippling debts, and in March 1994, he called in the favour Phil owed him and asked him to fire the car lot so he could claim on the insurance. Phil did so one dark night but a vagrant was asleep in one of the cars and died in the fire. Frank was aghast.
Phil and Frank covered their tracks under investigation by the police. Frank falsely claimed that his business accounts went up in the flames. After the police could get nowhere with the case, Frank cheered up again. The insurance investigating loss adjuster was given the books by Pat, who was not aware of Frank's scam. Frank fell apart when Pat said the loss adjuster was looking at all of the books, including the business accounts, which would have proved Frank was broke and the fire was arson. Frank had to hide his angst in front of Pat. He then became increasingly moody and miserable. He ran away a few days later in April 1994, not telling anyone. Pat was left destitute and heartbroken.
David Wicks later set up the car lot again and Pat got on with her life. In June 1994 Diane Butcher confirmed Frank would not be returning but had simply run away. In about July 1994, unbeknown to Pat, Frank was found in Bristol, suffering from a breakdown, he was dirty and his legs were osculated, and was put in a mental hospital. Also, while away from Walford, he met a girl and got her pregnant, she gave birth to his son Danny Butcher in 1995. In November that year, Pat was told from Frank's psychiatrist that he had been sleeping rough when he was admitted over a year earlier and his legs were badly osculated. She was sure he was not going to return to Walford.
But when Pat was dating car salesman Roy Evans, Frank walked back into her life in December 1995. He finally decided to return to Walford after all. On Christmas Day he turned up with loads of presents. Only Ricky greeted him with warmth. He wanted his wife back, his house back and his business as well. Frank got into a row with Roy and Pat said she had months of sleepless nights worrying about him, and taking any job she could to make ends meet. She said Roy has moved in, he is not just visiting. Frank walks out and returns to the B&B near Walford High Street.
Frank confronted Phil Mitchell and then caused friction between Pat and Roy but later moved to Manchester in early 1996. In 1997 he returned for Ricky's wedding and in 1998 moved back to Albert Square permanently when he started dating Peggy, much to the disdain of Phil and Grant, as they knew what he did to Pat 4 years earlier. But Frank had got his life back on track and became the landlord of the Vic again. In April 1999, he and Peggy married. Frank became friends with Roy Evans and they went into partnership at the car lot.
Frank told Roy about his son Danny. Over a year later, Frank and Pat realised they still loved each other and began an affair. The affair began in August 2000 when Frank and Peggy went to Spain with Pat, Roy, Terry Raymond and his wife Irene Raymond. Peggy became suspicious of Frank, thinking he was seeing someone, and she was right, it was indeed her best friend as well. In November 2000, the truth outed and Peggy showed Frank and Pat up in front of all the customers. She also said about how Frank and Pat planned to run away together. After Frank told them all to leave, there was some shouting between Frank, Pat and Roy. Roy left. Frank packed the rest of his stuff and then Peggy said she always knew he was a rotter. Phil and Peggy forced Frank out of Walford. Roy threw Pat out into the street and punched Frank, saying he should have done that a long time ago. Frank got into his car but shouted to Pat that he loves her. Pat saw him drive off but as it was raining heavily, he did not see her so drove off into the night, alone. Pat stayed with Ian Beale but her and Roy later reconciled.
Frank moved to Manchester then to Spain. In January 2002 Frank faked his death to escape debtors. He conned Peggy out of money again. In 2005 he returned for Janine's trial and slept with Pat again, who was now a widow. Frank then returned to Spain.
In March 2008, Frank died of throat cancer. His body was bought back to Walford for the funeral. Frank was cremated. Luckily Phil Mitchell did not strike the match this time.
In 2012, Pat died of pancreatic cancer.
Diamond geezer Frank Butcher was the iconic leading man of Albert Square, but for all his twinkly-eyed cockney charm some might say that he was little more than a second-rate con merchant.
His smooth-talking nature proved a hit with the ladies, and when the love-rat rolled into town to pick up the pieces with his teenage sweetheart Pat, he managed to break her cast-iron heart. His hands-off attitude to parenting and frequent absences from Ricky and Janine's lives arguably led Janine on her attention-seeking, destructive path. Domineering mother Mo tried to put him on the straight and narrow, but failed. And like Pat before her, poor Peggy Mitchell fell under the dodgy car dealer's spell. Frank won her heart, cheated on her and conned her out of a great deal of money, even faking his own death. But there will only ever be one Frank Butcher. No matter what he did, neither Pat nor Peggy could stay angry at Frank for long (and after seeing the scene where he bewitched Pat in nothing but a dickie bow and a smile, we can see why). In spring 2008, Frank died for real from cancer. His body was returned to Walford to be cremated. Thankfully, Phil didn't light the fire this time.