Johnny Allen was born to a deprived family in Walford in 1943. Dot Colwell (later Cotton) remembered him when he was a baby as Johnny's mother bought him home from the hospital and he was the ugliest baby Dot had ever seen. Johnny was educated and grew up where he became familiar with the locals such as the Beale family, Ethel Skinner and the Watts. He attended a street party in Albert Square in 1953 to celebrate the Queen's Coronation. Johnny got into trouble and his dad gave him a good hiding. Johnny went on to become a boxer from an early age, but got involved in the criminal underworld. In the late 1950s, when he started as an up-and-coming gangster and he employed a well-known prostitute Pat Harris who had several flings with before she married in 1961. In December 1963, 20 year old Johnny got Pat to help one of his backstreet prostitutes have an abortion. Johnny also employed a fellow boxer in the late 1960s, named Eric Mitchell. Johnny used to bully Eric because Eric was a better boxer than he was and the two developed a strong feud. Johnny also knew Eric's wife, Peggy, who used to try and seduce him out of desperation but he turned her down. Allen was a well-known man of the underworld and became notorious in the East End of London because he killed and tortured people including those who worked for him. Johnny left Walford when he grew older, presumably in the early 1970s, in order to expand his flourishing business empire named J.A Enterprises but he still worked as a gangster but lived in his mansion in Essex. He married a woman named Stephanie, and they had two daughters: Scarlett (born 1986) and Ruby (born 1988). In 1994, he began an affair with Tina Stewart, a barmaid who worked for him but was many years his junior, who went on to become his partner. His wife, Stephanie, and his eldest daughter, Scarlett, were killed in an arson attack by one of his criminal rivals.
Johnny makes his first appearance to support his henchman, Jake Moon and his brother Danny from the devious crime boss: Andy Hunter - who they have a conflict with. Johnny soon begins appearing more often to sort out the Moon brothers' problems. After a while, he buys the nightclub "Angie's Den" (renaming it "Scarlet", after his deceased daughter) and the Ferreira family's flat, and moves in with his remaining daughter, Ruby Allen. Johnny begins to usurp control over Andy's criminal reign, fuelling the rivalry between them, particularly when Johnny authorises his mob to unearth the body of Andy's victim, Paul Trueman. Eventually, Johnny decides to settle Andy after learning of his plot to con £750,000 from him and arranges a meeting with him. It ends with the pair seemingly going separate ways, until Johnny suddenly throws Andy from a motorway bridge, killing him on impact. Andy's death is recorded as suicide. After Jake and Danny buy stolen alcohol to use in Scarlet, Johnny fires them. After Johnny steals Danny's idea for a Salsa night at the club, Danny goes to Johnny's house in a drunken state, and sets it on fire. Johnny hunts down Jake and Danny, drives them to the woods and prepares to shoot Danny. Jake pleads for mercy, and Johnny then lets both of them go and orders them to leave Albert Square and never return. Jake, however, does return on his own in September, and tells Johnny he is there for personal reasons, so Johnny lets him stay.
Johnny's former mistress, Tina Stewart, follows him to Walford, and the two recommence their relationship. When Ruby finds out she is upset, but eventually accepts Tina and they live for a time as a family. But Johnny soon tires of Tina, and cheats on her with Amy, one of the barmaids working at Scarlet. When Ruby discovers this she tells Tina, who leaves Johnny and the Square. After putting in an offer for The Queen Victoria public house, he sparks a war between him and Peggy Mitchell, whose offer he outbids. It is soon revealed that there is history between the two; her deceased husband Eric had worked for Johnny, many years earlier, and they shared an earlier connection with boxing. Generally, Johnny had mistreated Eric, and Peggy blames this for the reason Eric took it out on her. Peggy also has knowledge of Johnny's past crimes, such as cutting the fingers off the hand of a prostitute and brutally beating up Dougie Collins for a slight misspelling on a birthday cake. She also reveals that he has extorted people, and even suspects him of being a murderer - which is later proven to be correct. Ruby walks into the pub as the story unravels. It is here that Ruby begins to learn of her father's true past, including that he may be to blame for the death of her mother and sister.
Johnny's feud with the Mitchell family continues. In November 2005, Johnny notices that the CCTV system at Scarlet has recorded a conversation between Jake and his girlfriend, Chrissie Watts. She confines in Jake that she had been the one who had murdered Den, a crime for which Peggy's daughter Sam Mitchell is being held by the police. In order to provoke the Mitchells, Johnny deliberately lets them know about the tape, leading to Phil and Grant Mitchell being involved in a stand-off with an armed Johnny. It is only diffused by Ruby, and the Mitchells leave with the tape. After some time Phil then pays Juley Smith to have a relationship with Ruby and then dump her, much to Johnny's annoyance. After Johnny argues with Juley at a party, Dennis Rickman throws Johnny out. Johnny threatens Sharon with violence and urges her to leave Walford with Dennis by midnight of New Year's Eve, Johnny threatens to have Dennis killed if they refuse to leave, leading to Dennis brutally beating him up. A badly beaten Johnny calls an associate and orders him to kill Dennis. As Dennis walks across Albert Square, he is fatally stabbed by a hooded passer-by, later revealed to be Danny Moon. Johnny leaves Walford with Ruby soon after this on 19 January 2006.
On 28 March, as part of a week-long storyline entitled "Get Johnny Week", Phil and Grant head for the Essex countryside and end up at Johnny's mansion, where Phil is determined to gain revenge on Johnny for the murder of Dennis Rickman. However Johnny eventually captures the Mitchell brothers, and orders Danny to kill them. However, Danny's brother Jake arrives and shoots Danny, killing him instantly. Ruby discovers the true extent of Johnny's crimes, and contacts the police, urging her father to confess to his crimes. Johnny then hands himself in, and confesses everything about his life of crime.
In October, Johnny appears in prison when Jake contacts him telling him he is concerned about Ruby's new relationship with Sean Slater. Johnny arranges for Sean to visit him, where Sean taunts him, and gives out hints that he is only dating Ruby for her money. After the visit, a furious Johnny attempts to phone Jake to order him to kill Sean, but suddenly suffers a heart attack before he can dial. Believing that Jake is on the phone, Johnny manages to whisper "Jake... kill him for me" before falling unconscious. Johnny's cellmate hears his last words and mistakenly believes that Jake is the one he wants killed, leading to Jake being confronted by a stranger and presumably killed while leaving Walford. Johnny is rushed to hospital where he dies.
Johnny made his first appearance to back-up Jake and Danny Moon from the crime boss Andy Hunter, who they had a feud with; Andy was giving Jake and Danny's cousin Alfie a hard time, which led to the feud. Johnny soon began appearing more often, to sort out the Moon brothers' problems. After a while, he bought the club "Angie's Den" (renaming it "Scarlet", after his deceased daughter) and the Ferreiras' flat, and moved in with his only daughter, Ruby. Andy began to despise Johnny, and it really showed. On a mission set by Andy and Eddie (his right-hand man), they decided to double cross Johnny and run off with the profits, cheating Johnny out of his money. This plan was foiled, as Eddie got cold feet and told Johnny what Andy had planned. This led to Johnny killing Andy by throwing him off a motorway bridge in February 2005, coincidentally on the same night of Den Watts's murder; Andy's death was wrongly believed to have been suicide. That was the last of Johnny's dirty work for a while.
After Jake and Danny brought stolen booze into Scarlet, Johnny fired them, leaving them jobless and in debt. Jake accepted the situation, but Danny decided he wanted to pay Johnny back. After Johnny stole his idea for a Salsa night at the club, Danny had had enough. On 8 July, he went back to Johnny's house in a drunken state, and set it on fire. On discovery of the fire, Johnny ran into the house; he couldn't bear the thought of losing his youngest daughter the same way he had lost Scarlet and his wife previously, but found out Ruby wasn't there and at a friend's house instead. Even so, he hunted down Jake and Danny, who tried to run away from Walford. He found them, and held them at gunpoint. He drove them to the woods and left Jake behind in his car, and dragged Danny out to prepare to shoot him. Jake smashed the car window and escaped, just in time to change Johnny's mind as he was about to pull the trigger. Johnny then let both of them go and ordered them to leave Albert Square and never return. Jake, however, did return on his own in September, and told Johnny he was there for personal reasons, so Johnny let him stay. Tina Stewart was Johnny's mistress for ten or eleven years, who followed him to Walford. When Ruby found out about the relationship, she was upset, but eventually accepted it and they lived as a family for a while. But soon Johnny got bored with Tina, and cheated on her with Amy, one of the barmaids working at Scarlet. When Ruby found out, she confessed to Tina, who left Johnny and the Square. Johnny and Amy's passion re-ignited on 12 December 2005, after over a month of being apart, but Johnny made it clear to her it was just a one-off.
Johnny has since showed an even darker side to his character; after putting in an offer for The Queen Vic, he sparked a war between him and Peggy Mitchell, whose offer he had outbid. It was soon discovered that there was a certain degree of history between the two; her deceased husband Eric had worked for Johnny, many years earlier, and they had also come across each other when it came to boxing. Generally, Johnny had mistreated Eric, and Peggy blamed this for the reason Eric took it out on her. Peggy also had knowledge of Johnny's past crimes, such as cutting the fingers off the hand of a prostitute, and beating up a man for disrespecting him by misspelling something on a birthday cake. Johnny's daughter, Ruby, walked into the Vic as the story unravelled. It was here that Ruby began to learn of her father's true past, as well as the fact that he may be to blame for the death of her mother and sister. Johnny became distressed and angered; he had already lost his wife and eldest daughter, and was now losing the only thing he had left. As Peggy continued to interfere and protest for the safety of Ruby, Johnny acted nicely, but Peggy continued, only to find Johnny crushing her hand in a door using her birthday cards as bait, whilst taunting '1-2-3-4-5, Once I caught a fish alive.'
When Johnny first arrived in Albert Square, it was quickly established that Johnny had heard of the Mitchell name; in fact, he even felt somewhat sorry for an unemployed, homeless, sad Billy Mitchell. In fact, it can be assumed that Billy was very similar to Eric Mitchell. Whilst Eric took his torment out on his family, Billy had previously done so too with Jamie. As Johnny had retired from the gangster world, perhaps he had realised his wrongs of the past. In early 2005, when Phil made a return to the Square whilst being on the run, Billy had begged Johnny for money to give to Phil. Johnny did so, but made it clear that he didn't want the likes of Phil on his doorstep. Though Johnny appears to still hate the Mitchell family, he has stated that the only reason he put in an offer for The Queen Vic, for a mystery third-party buyer, was because he hated the Mitchells. This was fuelled even more by a desperate Peggy.
In November 2005, Johnny thought that he had got one over on the Mitchells when he noticed that the CCTV system at Scarlet had recorded Chrissie Watts confiding in Jake Moon that she had been the one who had murdered her husband Den Watts, a crime for which Sam Mitchell was being held by the police. In order to provoke them, Johnny deliberately let Billy see the recording, and when Billy told Phil Mitchell (who had recently got out of jail himself) and Grant Mitchell (who was visiting from Brazil, in order to help Sam) about the tape, they went steaming in to see Johnny about it; a fist-fight ensued, that culminated in a stand-off with an armed Johnny in his office that was only diffused by Ruby, when she went to see her father at the club. The Mitchells left with the tape, and Johnny also revealed that Ian Beale - a long-standing enemy of Phil - was the mystery buyer of The Queen Vic. Johnny's feud with the Mitchells appeared to have settled, but Phil started it up again when he paid Juley Smith to sleep with Ruby, knowing that Johnny would get wound up about it. The plan worked, but Johnny hated Juley's relationship with Ruby, and tried everything to break them up. As the relationship grew, Juley started to have real feelings for Ruby, and wanted to end his deal with Phil to wind up Johnny, but Phil wanted it to continue.
Dennis Rickman also became dangerously involved in Phil Mitchell's vendetta against Johnny Allen, and this ended in tragedy. It all started on Boxing Day, when Dennis and Sharon decided to have a housewarming party, and invited everyone from the Square, including Juley Smith, and Johnny and Ruby. At the party, Johnny had an argument with Juley about his relationship with his daughter Ruby, and began to insult him. Dennis intervened after laughing at Johnny, when the supposed hardman was pushed to the ground by Ruby's friend Stacey Slater. Dennis then threw Johnny out, after humiliating him. Johnny became angry that Dennis was interfering in his affairs, and the matter became worse when Sharon came to see him and defended Dennis; Johnny then threatened Sharon by grabbing her by the neck, and telling her Dennis would end up the same way as Andy Hunter if he didn't stay away from him. He told her she and Dennis should leave Walford before midnight on New Year's Eve, or else Dennis will die. She confided in Phil that Johnny was forcing them to leave the Square, but she did not intend to tell her husband about the event. Phil tried to convince Sharon that Johnny must be sorted out once and for all; however, Sharon said she didn't want things to get worse. She made Phil promise her that he wouldn't tell Dennis, knowing that he would go mad. She managed to convince Dennis that she wanted to leave the Square for a fresh start, and he agreed.
Ignoring the promise he made to Sharon, Phil told Dennis, just as they were preparing to leave on New Year's Eve, what Johnny did. Predictably, just as Phil wanted, Dennis went to Johnny's club office and brutally beat him up, leaving him with a swelling to the brain. Johnny begged Dennis to help him, and Dennis, for Ruby's sake, tossed him a mobile phone to call for an ambulance. Over at The Queen Vic, Sharon was having a send-off by everyone in attendance, and was waiting for Dennis to get a taxi. Just after Dennis had left, Johnny instead called a henchman while he was on the floor, to kill Dennis. As Dennis walked across the Square to meet Sharon, he was stabbed by a hooded passer-by (later revealed to be Danny Moon) and died in Sharon's arms just seconds into the New Year. Johnny was in hospital recovering from his beating, and Phil started to feel guilty about Dennis dying, and went to the hospital to try and kill Johnny in his sleep, but decided to make him suffer slowly. Phil then ordered Juley to end his relationship with Ruby, so that Ruby would become upset and that would also make Johnny suffer. Juley reluctantly dumped Ruby, who then told Johnny after he got out of hospital.
Johnny confronted Juley about why he dumped Ruby, and eventually found out, after getting the truth out about Juley being paid by Phil to sleep with Ruby. He decided to leave him alone, but told him to stay away from Ruby or he would die. Johnny decided to deal with Phil in his own way. Sharon soon realised that Johnny had played a part in Dennis's death, she started to attack him in the pub just after the funeral. Phil didn't tell Sharon that he had told Dennis about Johnny threatening her, and feeling guilty, he told Sharon he would take her away from Walford to America, for a while, and vowed to sort Johnny out once and for all, when he returned. When Ruby, too, discovered that Juley had been paid to sleep with her, she got drunk and collapsed of alcoholic poisoning. Phil found her and rushed her to hospital, eventually saving her. When Johnny discovered Phil had saved her, he thanked him as Phil was leaving with Sharon for America. As they were leaving, Phil said to Sharon, 'Johnny is a dead man,' which implied the feud with Johnny and the Mitchells was far from over.
Johnny left Walford on 19 January 2006, when he decided to take Ruby away on a holiday which looked like a permanent one when he put his house and the night-club up for sale. Ruby returned briefly on 2 March, by herself, to collect more of her personal belongings, then revealed, to her friend Stacey Slater, that she was living with Johnny in Essex. On 28 March, as part of a week-long storyline entitled "Get Johnny Week", Phil and Grant returned. Phil tracked down Johnny to his country house in Essex, to get revenge for Dennis's murder, and involved a sceptical Grant in his plan. They were then held captive by Johnny, and it was revealed that Johnny had hired the long-absent Danny Moon to kill Dennis, and that Danny had recorded the whole thing on a mobile phone for him. Johnny's reason for hiring Danny was because he didn't hesitate to ask any questions about a job, and he owed him a favour for when Johnny spared his life before telling him to leave Walford. He ordered Danny to take the Mitchell brothers into a forest and kill them. As Danny was about to follow the orders, his brother Jake turned up and shot him, killing him instantly. Ruby found out about the true extent of Johnny's crimes, and contacted the police, threatening to disown Johnny if he didn't confess. Johnny then handed himself in, and confessed everything about his life of crime. He was subsequently convicted of being involved in the murders of both Andy Hunter and Dennis Rickman, along with four others. He later received life imprisonment with a recommendation that he should serve at least 27 years.
In October, Johnny was seen again in prison when Jake Moon contacted him telling him he was concerned about Ruby's new relationship with Sean Slater. Johnny asked Jake to tell Sean he wanted to meet him. Sean visited Johnny in prison with the unclear idea of wearing a suit and intimidated him, giving out hints that he is only dating Johnny's daughter for her money. Johnny then suffered a heart attack in prison after being verbally attacked by Sean. Johnny went to attack Sean, only for the prison wardens to break up the fight. Johnny then went back to his cell, punching the walls in anger. His cellmate who appeared to have contacts with contracted hitmen followed him out of his cell, on his way to the telephone before suffering a heart attack. Johnny believed he was on the phone, talking to Jake, and when Johnny's cellmate asked for the person's name he wanted killed, Johnny said "Jake, kill him for me". He later told his cellmate to "Get Jake Moon". The cellmate misunderstood what Johnny was trying to say and thought he wanted Jake killed. Johnny was rushed to hospital but died on the evening of 20 October 2006.
Jake Moon - October 2006: (Instigated/unintentional, death implied only) While suffering a heart attack in prison caused by him being taunted by Sean Slater, Johnny, collapsed next to a phone and thinking that Jake is on the other end of the phone and can hear him, tries to tell Jake to kill Sean, but his words ("Jake, kill him for me") are misinterpreted by Johnny's cellmate as Johnny wanting Jake killed. Jake is later confronted by strangers in a dark street and hasn't been seen since, implying he was killed.