Pauline Fowler (née Beale) made her first appearance on 19th February 1985. She was the mother of Mark, Michelle and Martin Fowler, the wife of Arthur Fowler, as well as the daughter of Albert and Lou Beale.

Pauline was portrayed by Wendy Richard.


Pauline and her fraternal twin brother Pete were born to Albert and Lou Beale on 11th March 1945. Pauline is younger by 5 minutes. They were born and raised in number 45 Albert Square. She went to Walford High School (Walford High) - the school her entire family went to.

When Pauline was a kid, she went into hospital to get her tonsils out, Pete did not know what to do with himself as he had not been separated from his twin for that long before. He felt like something important was missing and he wondered around waiting for Pauline to come home.

In 1956, she met Arthur Fowler, a local boy. She started dating Arthur in 1964, but he proposed to her later on when she was upset that she could not be a bridesmaid to her older sister Dora because she was ill. They married in 1965, the same year of the death of her father - Albert Beale. They had three children, Mark (born 1968), Michelle (born 1969) and Martin (born 1985).


The original EastEnder, the show initially revolved around the Beale/Fowler clan, comprising Pauline and Arthur Fowler and their three children, and Pauline's twin brother Pete, his wife Kathy and their son Ian. Ruling over this clan was the first of EastEnders' great matriarchs, Lou Beale. 

Since the first episode, Pauline lived in the house she grew up in, first taking care of her ailing mother Lou, then with Mark and his wives Ruth and Lisa, and later with Dot Cotton and her friend Ethel Skinner. Pauline hated villainous pub landlord Den Watts for his treatment of his wife Angie Watts and for deflowering Michelle Fowler when she was just 16. Pauline had seen Den handing Michelle an envelope of cash in secret, and deduced that he must be Vicky's father. In January 1988 Den admitted it and Pauline slapped him. Pauline always called Den by his full name Dennis instead of Den, as he was known to everyone else outside family. She once said to Den "You are like a disease, Dennis Watts. You are like AIDS", when she visited him in prison.

Pauline took an instant dislike to Phil Mitchell and Grant Mitchell due to their thuggish behaviour. However, Grant had developed PTSD from the army. In 1993, Arthur cheated on Pauline and when she found out, she hit him over the head with a frying pan.

Arthur's sudden death in 1996 left Pauline bereft. The last lodger to live with Pauline was her long-suffering gay best friend, Derek Harkinson. Pauline had hoped their relationship would progress to a romance, but it was not to be.

Pauline has always worked at the local launderette with occasional forays into factory and cleaning work as well. For a while, Pauline was quite bitter, despite attempts by Eddie Skinner and Jeff Healy to woo her, but Derek was, temporarily at least, a good influence on her. Given Martin's incarceration, Mark's recent death from AIDS, and having to say farewell to granddaughter Chloe (now Rebecca Miller), with whom she was temporarily reunited, Pauline's bitterness was understandable. She and daughter-in-law Sonia had reached a peace of sorts, and Pauline became more involved in building friendships with the other middle-aged women around the Square and even mended fences with former sister-in-law Pat Evans.

Pauline and Joe Macer tied the knot for EE's 21st anniversary, but even that failed to stop Pauline from giving frequent vent to her vituperative side when she encountered Sonia or Naomi Julien. She and Joe briefly separated when she learned about his past, but he worked his way back into her good graces with few problems. She took part in the deception of Margaret Wilson in an effort to have Martin and Sonia named as Rebecca's guardians in Margaret's will. Although the original plot blew up in her face, later, upon Margaret's death, Rebecca was sent to live with Martin - a situation which Pauline never failed to use in her persecution of her daughter-in-law.

More recently, Pauline became depressed upon overhearing Joe, Martin, Sonia and Dot talking about her - to such an extent that she sat in her room as her house smoldered beneath her. She then seized the opportunity, whilst in hospital to deceive her loved ones, and eventually the rest of the Square, that she had a brain tumour. When she was found out by her family, they all left her side, and cut all ties - and Pauline gladly obliged to do similarly - she divorced Joe, sold the veg stall, and planned to leave for Florida. However, at the last moment, she saw sense and decided to remain in the square to be with her family. Tragically, before she was able to make amends, she died, suddenly, on Christmas night, next to Her Arthur's bench. It later turned out that husband Joe Macer had injured her in a row which led to her death.

First and last lines

"Right. When did you say officially Doctor?" (First line)


"Come on Betty." (Last line)


See also

Original characters
Lou Beale | Pauline Fowler | Arthur Fowler | Michelle Fowler | Mark Fowler | Pete Beale | Kathy Beale | Ian Beale | Den Watts | Angie Watts | Sharon Watts | Ethel Skinner | Dr Legg | Dot Cotton | Nick Cotton | Sue Osman | Ali Osman | Saeed Jeffery | Naima Jeffery | Lofty Holloway | Tony Carpenter | Mary Smith | Kelvin Carpenter | Andy O'Brien | Debbie Wilkins | Pat Butcher | Simon Wicks
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