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EastEnders Wiki

Melanie Jane "Mel" Owen (nee Healy, previously Beale and Kelly) was the daughter of Jeff and Jane Healy, sister of Alex Healy and mother of Hunter Owen. The character is portrayed by Tamzin Outhwaite and first appeared on 19 October 1998.


Melanie had a troubled past - she owned a business that went bankrupt, was abused by a boyfriend and was estranged from her family for some years, travelling around the Greek Islands.


1998-2000: Arrival and relationship with Ian Beale[]

Melanie reunites with her brother, Alex Healy, and their father Jeff in October 1998 when she arrives in Albert Square.

Melanie started working for local businessman Ian Beale. They soon begin dating and Ian later requests her to help with his children. Melanie finds the children hard to deal with at first but grows to love them. Ian and Melanie plan to marry, but Melanie gets cold feet – realising that she doesn't truly love Ian. When Ian discovers this, he claims that his daughter Lucy Beale is dying of cancer in a desperate bid to retain his romantic bond with Melanie. She gives in and later agrees to marry him.

The pair marry on New Year's Eve 1999, in a double wedding with fellow neighbours Barry Evans and Natalie Evans. At their reception, however, Mel discovers a letter that Ian threw away – which officially gave Lucy the all-clear. She confronts Ian and, after he admits to lying about his daughter's health, dumps him just as the clock strikes midnight and the new millennium begins.

2000-2002: Relationship with Steve Owen, Phil Mitchell and Dan Sullivan's feud[]

After divorcing Ian and the exposure of his fabrication about Lucy's health, Melanie starts a relationship with local publican Dan Sullivan. However, this ends when she learns from her best-friend Lisa Shaw that Dan reported her boyfriend Phil Mitchell reported him to the police about his motor scam. When Melanie causes Phil to learn about what Dan did and gets revenge. Dan vows to get payback on Melanie and starts harassing her - until her love interest, Steve Owen, comes to her rescue.

Soon afterwards, Melanie and Steve start a relationship after he forces Phil's cousin Billy Mitchell to help build her trust on him. They soon marry at the start of March 2001, despite Steve learning that Melanie slept with Phil at Christmas. Just as Steve and Melanie commence their honeymoon, Phil gets shot by a mystery assailant and Steve is the prime suspect. Melanie suspects it is him but he protests his innocence.

Phil recovers from the shooting and confronts the culprit: Lisa. Steve forgives Melanie and, on Phil's instruction, he decides to frame Dan for the crime. Dan is wrongly imprisoned for Phil's attempted murder and, after his release, believing that it was Steve who actually shot him, kidnaps Melanie in revenge. Dan demands a large sum of money and Steve grows desperate. During her few days of captivity, Dan tells Melanie about Steve's dodgy dealings and criminal activities. Phil comes to her rescue and Dan flees.

Melanie takes time out after burning down her and Steve's club, E20, as revenge for Steve's lies. She briefly dates Barry's half-brother Nathan Williams, but later reconciles with Steve after he manages to woo her back into their marriage.

However, when Steve's feud with Phil sparks out of control, he proposes that he and Melanie should start anew and plan to emigrate to America with Lisa, her boyfriend Mark Fowler, and Lisa's daughter, Louise Mitchell. However, Mark can't go having been denied a Visa due to his HIV and Lisa is torn as to what to do. With the plan falling apart, Steve absconds with Louise but Phil follows them and a car chase ensues. Steve swerves and crashes. Phil rescues Louise and is about to go back for Steve but is too late – the car explodes with Steve still inside, killing him!

Melanie is heartbroken when Steve's web of deceit and lies are uncovered after his death. She discovers that Steve was having an affair with Phil's sister, Sam Mitchell, and that Steve sold their club and house behind her back. On Lisa's wedding day to Mark, Melanie is arrested for drug connections after she is implicated in Steve's drug smuggling. Melanie had unwittingly signed Steve's paperwork, linking the drug smuggling back to her. Facing a long spell in prison, Phil bails her for £30,000 when she discovers that she is pregnant with Steve's child. She then discovers that Lisa was responsible for shooting Phil and that both knew it was not Steve, despite her continued suspicions. Feeling betrayed by everyone, she toasts herself before going to Portugal so Phil loses the £30,000. Later that year, Lisa and Louise join Mel in Portugal.

2018-2019: Return to Walford, conflict with Ray, Hunter’s imprisonment and Mel’s death[]

Mel returns to Walford as she is working for her sister-in-law, Ciara Maguire, to track down money and jewellery that was stolen from Ciara in a recent robbery that took place in the area. Ciara is keeping Mel's son, Hunter Owen, from her until she finds the money. Mel eventually discovers that Sharon Mitchell has the money and Mel double-crosses her so the money is returned and Mel is able to see Hunter again. Ciara does not have the full amount, so in retaliation, she tells Hunter that Steve died in a car explosion, not a heart attack as Mel claimed and that he was a villain who killed Saskia Duncan.

Mel is forced to tell Hunter that Steve killed Saskia and had framed Matthew Rose and his death was a result of a car chase. Mel later compares Hunter to Steve and asks for them to start again. Mel decides to remain in Walford, accepting Sharon's offer to reopen the nightclub, which she agrees to name E20 in tribute to Steve to keep Hunter happy. Jack Branning pursues Mel but Hunter sabotages Jack's car to prevent them going to France. Before the club's opening, Hunter finds out that Phil was involved in Steve's death and Hunter blames Phil, so he has sex with Louise in the office, knowing Phil will see it on CCTV.

Phil is enraged and threatens to attack Hunter with a baseball bat but Mel seduces Phil and threatens to show Sharon the CCTV footage of their kiss to stop him from hurting Hunter. Mel and Jack argue after Mel tries to reunite Billy and Honey Mitchell by claiming that Billy has moved on. The argument leads to passion and Jack and Mel have sex. Ian decides he wants to marry Mel again and constantly tries to woo her, including offering Hunter a job at his restaurant. However, his efforts always go in vain.

Jack later proposes to Mel, and just as she is about to accept, her ex-husband, Ray Kelly turns up. It is revealed that Ray worked as an undercover cop and his relationship with Mel became strained due to his increasingly secretive behaviour, ultimately leading to their divorce. Mel confronts Ray at home, where her feelings for him resurface and she sleeps with him, causing Jack to break up with her. Although Ray insists that he will be there for her and Hunter and decides that he wants to remarry Mel, Mel becomes paranoid again and she frequently enlists Jack's help to gather more information about Ray. She finds out that Ray is a millionaire, much to her dismay. Furthermore, he goes by the alias, Simon.

She is later stunned when she discovers that Ray is married to another woman called Maddie Wright and he has a son with her. She befriends Maddie, who thinks that Ray is Simon. Maddie, a fitness trainer, meets up with Mel to train her, but Mel reveals the truth about Ray. Mel and Maddie go to a house, where they think one of Ray's girlfriends lives. They pretend to be two police officers and are stunned when the woman turns out to be a teenager. It is revealed that the young woman they are talking to is Ray's daughter from yet another marriage. Mel and Maddie meet up with his third wife, Nicola Kelly, who is equally shocked at Ray's betrayal. Mel convinces Nicola and Maddie to join her in her plan to expose Ray on their wedding day on New Year's Day 2019. They agree, but when the day arrives, Ray discovers Mel's scheme and strangles her with her wedding veil.

Thinking he has murdered Mel, Ray stashes her body into a closet and arrives at the church. He is stunned when Mel turns up and declares that she still wants to go ahead with the wedding, in order to obtain Ray's money. Otherwise, she will show everyone her bruises that Ray inflicted. Ray and Mel get married, but just as they walk out of the church, Ray is confronted by Maddie and Nicola. Moments later, the police arrive and arrest Ray for bigamy. Ray escapes, later, Ray bundles an aggressive Hunter into the boot of his car, driving to Walford Common, where Mel appears knowing he has her son and confronts him with a gun. Following a heated discussion, Mel finally finds Hunter bound and gagged on the ground, then, Ray coming at them both with a shovel, they, panicking, quickly get into a car. Mel reverses into Ray and buries him, believing him to be dead; he grabs her leg and starts throttling her again. To stop him murdering his mother, Hunter shoots Ray, killing him.

Hunter is arrested and Mel enters a lengthy legal battle to release her son from prison, though to no avail. He is imprisoned and Mel visits him. She becomes more reclusive and stressed without Hunter and tries to avenge Hunter's imprisonment by blaming Jack. Mel is informed by the police that Hunter will be transferred to a prison in the North of England for his safety, before being told that during a crash involving the prison van escorting him, he has escaped. Hunter eventually returns to Walford and she conceals him in a derelict flat, where she tries to treat his wounds sustained in the crash. She plans to obtain fake passports and return to Portugal for a fresh start. When Hunter is healed, Mel smuggles him in the boot of her car and prepares to leave when Lisa returns, wanting Mel's help to smuggle Louise and her fiancé, Keanu Taylor, out of the country. They agree for the five of them to move to Portugal. Mel learns that Hunter has escaped the car and taken her gun, Mel becomes panicked and tries to find him.

In her search, she tries Jack's house, since Hunter wanted revenge on him for his imprisonment and finds Jack's partner, Denise Fox, unconscious on the floor after Hunter attacks her. She alerts the paramedics and goes to find Jack in the Queen Vic. She sees landlady Linda Carter escorting him to the barrel store and realises that Hunter has ordered Linda to bring him there. Mel then cajoles Hunter in handing her the gun and they try to sneak him out of the pub unseen. When he is spotted, Hunter holds the pub hostage and shoots Ben Mitchell. Mel tries to talk to him with no success and he takes Louise hostage in Albert Square with armed police surrounding them. Hunter shoots Keanu and Mel urges him to stop his actions. Hunter threatens Louise's life. He is then shot dead by a police marksman and Mel cradles his body, devastated.

In the following weeks, Mel struggles in the aftermath and criticises Lisa for complaining about Louise when she is still alive. By way of apology for Ben and Louise, Mel takes flowers to the Mitchell home, where she keenly spots Keanu's overreaction to Lola Pearce knocking a pregnant Sharon's stomach and, witnessing a secret conversation between Sharon and Keanu, she realises that Keanu is the father of Sharon's baby, not Phil. This follows Phil trying to disrupt Hunter's funeral and Sharon insulting Hunter during a row with Mel. Mel swears to Lisa, on Hunter's memory, vengeance against the Mitchells. She begins to blackmail Sharon with the knowledge of her baby's paternity. She asks for £20,000 and a villa in Portugal, threatening Sharon by using her son Dennis Rickman to get to her.

Mel heightens her blackmail towards Sharon, who persuades Louise and Keanu to move in with Mel and Lisa. Mel sends Sharon away to find her a villa in Portugal for the four of them. Mel sells the club to Ruby Allen as well as getting Sharon to sell her share, which she eventually does. However, she tells Mel that she knows that Mel helped Hunter when he escaped prison, shocking her and leaving her unsettled. Mel continues getting closer to Louise's unborn baby, which frightens Lisa. Mel is upset when she finds out that Louise and Keanu do not want to move to Portugal but manages to manipulate Lisa and tells her that Sharon's unborn baby is not Phil's.

Later, Mel looks at Hunter's old things and puts Louise's baby scan with it saying “Grandma Loves You”. Mel continues to get closer to Louise and buys her a Citroën C3 Aircross for her 18th birthday. At the pub, Mel is shocked when Louise calls Sharon ‘her second mum’ and Mel pretends to poison Dennis when Sharon tells her to get over Hunter’s death. Mel plans a party for Louise’s 18th and Sharon’s 50th, hinting that she will reveal everything there. Lisa later confronts Mel about her getting close to Louise and Mel hits her.

On the day of the party, Lisa suggests that Mel sees a therapist but Mel refuses, telling her she’s not mad like herself and tells Lisa it would’ve been better if she had killed herself. Mel leaves a voicemail to Phil, who is away, telling him that Sharon has sold the business. He subsequently decides to return on the next flight. Unknown to Mel, Sharon is furious and tells Keanu that they need a plan as they both rush to the club to confront Mel, only to walk into her party where Louise is already there. Mel gloats at Sharon and is confronted by Lisa in the office, who unknown to Mel, has planned something with Sharon. Mel threatens to phone Phil and tell him everything. An altercation takes place and Mel’s phone is smashed which results in both Mel and Sharon rushing to the airport to greet Phil first. Whilst driving, they encounter each other and Mel decides to phone Billy and tell him about Sharon and Keanu, telling him to put it on speaker and next to the microphone so that everyone at the party can hear, including Louise. However, she doesn’t manage to announce it to everyone as she crashes into a broken down car. Mel's car overturns as Sharon looks on and the partygoers, including Lisa, listen in, horrified. Mel, still alive, and semi conscious inside the wreckage, believes that she can hear Hunter's voice calling to her. Sharon manages to pull Mel from the wreckage before her car explodes, but Mel keeps hearing Hunter's voice in her head. After Sharon pleads with her to end the feud, Mel accuses her of stopping her from going 'back to Hunter' and paces towards the car, where she believes Hunter to be. As she stumbles towards the burning car, Sharon looks on in horror as a lorry appears through the smoke from the wreckage, hitting Mel and killing her instantly. Sharon, Louise and Lisa are left horrified.

Lisa seeks revenge for Mel’s death by telling Phil he is not the father of Sharon’s baby. A few weeks later, Louise gives her daughter the middle name ‘Melanie’ in honour of her. On Christmas Day, Mel’s meddling finally comes to fruition as Phil discovers Sharon’s affair and throws her out as well as orchestrating Keanu’s murder.

Kill count[]

Connected murders and deaths[]

  1. Ray Kelly (3 January 2019 - Part 2) (association) - Helped cover up the crime after he was killed by Hunter Owen.

Attempted murder victims[]

  1. Aidan Maguire (5 March 2018) (orchestrated) - Gave a hitmans phone number to Mick Carter in hopes that Mick would have Aidan killed after Aidan had threatened Mel.
  2. Ray Kelly (3 January 2019 - Part 2) - Ran Ray over when he a started chasing her and Hunter and also hit the car window with a shovel, Mel initially thought she'd killed Ray.


See also[]