Mel 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, traveling around the Greek Islands, before reuniting with her brother, vicar Alex Healy and their father, Jeff, in Walford in October 1998.
Mel becomes involved with Ian Beale. Melanie finds the children hard to deal with at first but grows to love them. Ian and Mel plan to marry but Melanie gets cold feet, realising she doesn't truly love Ian. Ian hears her say this and blackmails her into marrying him by telling her that Lucy has cancer. The pair marry on New Year's Eve 1999, in a double wedding with Barry and Natalie Evans, but at their reception, she discovers a letter, giving Lucy the all-clear, and leaves Ian as the clock strikes midnight and the new millennium begins.
Mel leaves Ian hours after they wed. Mel then has brief flings with Billy Mitchell, Nathan Williams, Dan Sullivan and Phil Mitchell, despite Phil living with her best friend, Lisa Shaw, at the time. However, her on/off flirtation with Steve Owen is the only relationship that lasts and they marry in March 2001, despite Steve finding out that she had slept with Phil on Christmas Day 2000 in a drunken one-night stand. On their wedding day, Phil is shot by a mystery attacker 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 who turns out to be Lisa. Steve forgives Mel and on Phil's instruction, he decides to frame his enemy Dan. Dan Sullivan is wrongly imprisoned for Phil's attempted murder, and after his release, believing that it was Steve who actually shot him, kidnaps Mel in revenge. Dan demands a large sum of money and Steve grows desperate. During her few days of captivity, Dan tells Mel about Steve's dodgy dealings and criminal activities. Phil comes to her rescue and Dan flees. Mel takes time out after burning down her and Steve's club, E20, as revenge for Steve's lies. He woos her round, however, and they plan to emigrate to America with Lisa Shaw, her boyfriend Mark Fowler, and Lisa's daughter, Louise Mitchell. However, Mark changes his mind and Lisa is torn as to what to do, the plan is falling apart but 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 inside and he dies.
Mel is heart-broken 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, and that Steve sold their club and house behind her back. On her friend Lisa's wedding day to Mark Fowler, Melanie is arrested for drug connections after she is implicated in Steve's drug smuggling; Mel 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. 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 Steve before going to Portugal so Phil loses the £30,000. Later that year, Lisa and Louise join Mel in Portugal.
After discovering Ben stole the money from Phil's heist, she gets in touch with Ciara and tells her she knows everything. Melanie follows Ben to the ferry terminal, to his suspicion. He hides behind some posters in order to lose Melanie; it works In late January, Mel agrees to rent 43 Albert Square from Jack Branning who then asks her out for a drink however she declines as she says she 'is older and wiser'. After her son Hunter has sex with Louise Mitchell, she seduces Phil Mitchell, in order to prevent him from attacking Hunter. She says that if Phil harms Hunter, she will leak the tape to Phil's wife Sharon.
Mel's former husband Ray Kelly is mentioned several times throughout 2018, as his ex partner Mel Owen's son Hunter Owen stays in contact with him. Ray arrives at E20 Nightclub as Mel is about to respond to Jack Branning's marriage proposal. Ray tells Mel he came because Hunter told him she was in trouble, but Mel says it was a lie. Ray leaves, but Mel later calls him. They meet and talk about their past, and he says he left his job in the police because he made mistakes after she left him and that letting her go was a mistake. She says it is too late and pushes him away when he goes to kiss her, but she then kisses him.
A man named Jeff Reynolds then comes to Walford into a café and talks to Ray, calling him Simon. Ray then tells Jeff that he doesn't know him and must have the wrong man. Hunter then gets suspicious of Ray and why he is always sneaking around. Hunter then listens to Ray's phone call and becomes even more suspicious. Hunter then looks in the back of Ray's car and finds loads of money and a passport with Ray being named Simon Wright. When Hunter confronts Ray about it, he says that he is still in the police force but doesn't want to worry Mel about it. Ray then takes Hunter out and gets him drunk, much to Mel's despair. That night, Ray takes Hunter home and meets up with Jeff and tells him to leave and never come back, but he tells Ray that he is buying a flat in the area from Jack. Ray then beets up Jeff and tells him to leave and never come back. The next day, Jeff asks Jack for his money back from his deposit off the flat but Jack says its out of his hands. Jeff later runs off when Ray comes towards him, making Jack suspicious. Jack threatens to tell Mel about this but later on, Ray arrives at Jack's house and tells him that he can make his life a misery if he doesn't get off his case. Ray then tells Jack that he will tell everyone about what happened to his daughter Penny Branning. Jack and Ray start to fight just as Jack’s children Amy and Ricky walk into the room.
Mel then asks Jack to do some digging on Jeff and find his criminal record. Jack does this but it turns out that he hasn't got one. Later on, Mel hears Ray on the phone to a doctor with the surname Matthews. She thinks nothing of it and goes into the café for a coffee. She overhears a nurse Sonia Fowler talking about how Dr Matthews is busy today. Mel goes to the hospital to Matthew's ward and discovers Ray with a woman and young child. The next day, Mel returns to the hospital and discovers Ray has been living two lives and he has another family. Mel speaks to a woman named Maddie Wright, who asks Mel if she can borrow 10p. They get chatting and Mel asks her if she is married. Maddie tells Mel she has a husband named Simon and they have a four year old son named Jake but her husband wanted to name him Ray. Mel tells Maddie that she did have a husband but he cheated on her, Madie replies telling Mel she hopes she made him pay.
In January 2019, Ray is arrested for bigamy by PC Nawaz after Nicola and Maddie report him to the police. Whilst driving the police car to the station, Ray fakes a heart attack. PC Bentley and PC Nawaz stop the car and roll him onto the ground. He grabs PC Bentley's taser and tasers him. PC Nawaz pulls out her baton, but Ray threatens her with the taser. He locks them in the car and walks away.
Whilst he is doing this, Mel reveals to Jack and Hunter that Ray has two other wives and tried to kill her. Ray returns to the house, where he turns the place upside down looking for his brown bag. Hunter finds him in there, and tries to stab him.Ray overpowers him, beats him and puts him in the boot of his car. Ray phones Mel from a forest and tells her to bring his brown bag to her, which has his money and gun in it. Mel agrees. Ray sends Mel a photo of Hunter, bloody in the boot of his car.Mel turns up at the location with the bag and the gun drawn. She hears wedding music. She ventures to the source, and finds a phone. She turns the music off, and dumps the bag. Ray jumps out at her, and she points the gun at him. Ray tells her the gun isn't loaded. She shoots the gun at a tree. She makes Ray lie down and she ties him up. She asks where Hunter is, and Ray tells her that Hunter was taken away by a friend. Mel makes Ray phone the friend. Ray says he will be 15 minutes, so Ray and Mel talk. They reminisce. Mel grows impatient and tells Ray she is phoning his friend. Ray warns her not to. A pizza company answer. Mel realises she has been duped. She points the gun at Ray again and asks where Hunter is. A cry rings out, and she runs towards it. She finds Hunter with his hands bound. She unties him and helps him walk to her car. She finds her tyres have been slashed. She asks Hunter for Ray's keys, and he has them. Ray jumps out at them, and they rush into his car. Ray starts hammering at the car door and window with a spade, as Mel fumbles about with the keys attempting to start the car. She manages. She accelerates but crashes into a tree. She then moves backwards but hits Ray. She gets out of the car and feels for a heartbeat on Ray, but cannot find one. She digs a grave for him and puts him in it. She fills the grave. She cries and drops to her knees, just as Ray sits up from his grave. Ray pulls Mel to the ground and attempts to strangle her. A loud bang rings out and Ray falls to his side. Hunter is seen standing behind him with a gun. Ray has been shot. Mel takes the gun off Hunter and tells him to start searching for the round. They find it. Mel buries Ray in the grave she made for him earlier. They drive back to the Square in Ray's car, and Jack knocks on their door when they get there. He asks them where they have been, and they tell him they went for a long drive, although Jack is suspicious. Hunter and Mel get inside and bag all the clothes up to get rid of them. Hunter tells Mel that he has broken the gun up and put bits of it in bins all around the Square. Jack knocks and tells Mel to come and have a drink with him in the kitchen. He doesn't take no for an answer. DS Barnes comes round and tells Mel that Ray has escaped, and suggests they helped him escape. Mel denies this and sends DS Barnes packing. Mel goes to collect the bags of clothing to take away and Hunter goes into the kitchen. Hunter pulls out the gun from his pockets and puts it to his throat. Mel smashes a glass, and she hears a bang. However, she imagined it.
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. She tracks Hunter down and 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 (Danny Walters), 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 (Diane Parish), 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 (Kellie Bright) 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 (Max Bowden); Mel tries to talk to him with no success and he takes Louise (Tilly Keeper) 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 (Danielle Harold) 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 getting to her using her son Dennis (Bleu Landau). Over the coming weeks, 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 (Louisa Lytton) 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 does 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 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 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.
First and last lines
"Excuse me? I believe you have a vacancy, is that right?" (First line, to Louise Raymond)
“Hunter!” (Last line, heard by Sharon Mitchell, seconds before dying)