EastEnders Cast Photo 2 (1985)

Here remains a record of all the original characters and cast from EastEnders when the show initially premiered in February 1985. The listing is classified by departure date, with the most recent departure being at the peak of the list, and the first farewell being at the ground of the list.

Ian Beale is the longest serving character in the show and from the original cast, who has prevailed in the show for over thirty years without having any breaks in tenure. Sharon Mitchell is the second longest serving character, although she has had several breaks firstly in 1995 after being in the show for ten years, and then returning in 2001 and took her second break in 2006 and later reinstated as a present cast member in 2014. The third longest serving character is Kathy Beale, who was the first longest-serving cast member until 1998 when she took a skimpy departure but making several guest appearances between 1999 and 2000 before leaving permanently, and then after fourteen years it was announced that Gillian Taylforth was reprising her role in the show's thirtieth anniversary in 2015 and ever since she has remained in the show. The fourth and final original cast member who is currently appearing in the show is Dr. Harold Legg who was a central cast member until 1989 and after that was a recurring cast member until 1997 when he left the show permanently, although he made brief guest appearances in 2000, 2004, 2007 and then returned in 2018. Lofty Holloway and Mary Smith made a brief return in 2019 for Harold Legg's funeral.

From the original cast Nejdet Salih, Bill Treacher, Leonard Fenton, Andrew Johnson, Peter Dean, Shreela Ghosh, Anita DobsonJohn Altman, Sandy Ratcliff, Gillian Taylforth, Letitia Dean, Adam Woodyatt, Susan Tully, Tom Watt, Oscar James, Linda Davidson, Paul J. Medford and Shirley Cheriton are still alive.


Character Actor When they left
Kathy BealeGillian TaylforthOngoing
Sharon MitchellLetitia DeanOngoing
Ian BealeAdam WoodyattOngoing
Lofty HollowayTom Watt2019
Mary SmithLinda Davidson2019
Harold LeggLeonard Fenton2019
Michelle FowlerSusan Tully and Jenna Russell2018
Nick CottonJohn Altman2015
Pauline FowlerWendy Richard2006
Den WattsLeslie Grantham2005
Mark FowlerDavid Scarboro and Todd Carty2003
Ethel SkinnerGretchen Franklin2000
Arthur FowlerBill Treacher1996
Pete BealePeter Dean1993
Ali OsmanNejdet Salih1989
Sue OsmanSandy Ratcliff1989
Lou BealeAnna Wing1988
Angie WattsAnita Dobson1988
Naima JefferyShreela Ghosh1987
Kelvin CarpenterPaul J. Medford1987
Tony CarpenterOscar James1987
Debbie WilkinsShirley Cheriton1987
Andy O'BrienRoss Davidson1986
Saeed JefferyAndrew Johnson1985

See also

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