Lorraine “Rainie” Branning (née Cross) first appeared on EastEnders on the 2nd August 2007. She quit the previous year, returned between 2010 and 2011 and again between 2014 and 2015. She returned for episodes on the 19th January 2018, coinciding with Abi's death and funeral, before her return as a regular character in the spring.

She returned on the 24th April 2018. Her first scenes show her marrying Max Branning.


Before her on-screen appearance, Rainie lived on a council estate with her mother Cora Cross, sister Tanya Cross and her father. In her teenage years, her father was diagnosed with cancer and Tanya had helped him die, unknown to Cora and Tanya until years later.


Rainie struggled with everything - family, men and drug addiction. She was a thorn in her sister's side - she would beg, borrow and steal to fuel her heroin addiction.

Selfish, and frequently self-pitying, Rainie was quick to point the finger of blame at Tanya and her mum Cora, rather than take responsibility for her actions.

But behind it all, Rainie was a lost soul with a soft, vulnerable side. She yearned to get her life back on track and impress her older sister Tanya.

After a dirty, drunken affair with Phil Mitchell, Rainie cleaned up and found God. But she threatened to go off the rails again when she discovered the details of her father's death - that, dying of cancer, he had begged Tanya to end his life, which she did.

Rainie left Walford in 2011, but not before making peace with Tanya.


Rainie first appears at Tanya's house, claiming that she is no longer using drugs but Tanya catches her attempting to inject heroin and gives her a choice to take the £500 and never to see Tanya or her children again, or stay the night and get help with her problems. Rainie leaves with the money, without Tanya noticing but ignores the ultimatum, returning the following year. Tanya is in an emotional state, having recently split from her husband Max Branning (Jake Wood). Rainie returns the money to Tanya and says she is not using drugs, so Tanya allows her to stay but she tests positive for cannabis so Tanya asks her to leave.


Rainie returns to Walford in 2010 and tells Max she is clean and sober, and asks Max for Tanya's phone number. Tanya's daughter, Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald), wants Rainie to stay and Max agrees. She steals money out of Max's sister Carol Jackson's (Lindsey Coulson) purse, which she uses to buy cocaine. Max catches her with the drugs and throws her out. She starts looking for her drugs where a drunken Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) approaches, finds Rainie's cocaine and is tempted to try some after she says it helps her block out her memories. Phil and Rainie get high at Phil's home. Rainie goes to get more drugs when Phil steals money from the Queen Victoria public house, but is mugged by a drug dealer. Phil's girlfriend Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) offers to help him get clean but throws Rainie out of the house, calling her pathetic.

In 2011, Rainie returns to Tanya's house as their mother, Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell), is visiting. Rainie says she is now completely clean and is staying with Cora because her counsellor wants her to reconnect with her family. When Tanya and Greg Jessop (Stefan Booth) go on their honeymoon, Rainie looks after their house and meets Phil at R&R. They talk about their past but he tells her that he does not want to associate with her and leaves. She and Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) then get drunk together and later go to his flat and have sex. Jack rejects Rainie the following morning. Tanya and Greg return and see how much trouble Rainie has caused. She also causes trouble with Shirley so Tanya asks her to leave but Rainie persuades Tanya to let her stay, much to Greg's disappointment.

Rainie visits Jack's wife Ronnie Branning (Samantha Womack), to find the knickers she supposedly left behind and taunts Ronnie, asking her to tell Jack to phone her, leading to her being kicked out again. She joins a support group to help her stay off drugs and alcohol which Phil also attends. Rainie struggles and calls her drug dealer but Phil catches Rainie with drugs and takes them from her, destroying them. She gets drunk and goes to Tanya's salon, where Tanya takes her home. Greg throws her out after Tanya lies that Rainie tried to stab her. A few days later, Phil finds Rainie in the pub and Shirley catches them talking and wrongly assumes they are romantically involved but finds out that Phil has been sponsoring Rainie. Shirley almost gives Rainie a job in the café but changes her mind.

Rainie leaves Walford again but insists on her return that she is still not taking drugs. However, she faces several temptations by people offering her drugs, eventually buying some from Ryan Malloy (Neil McDermott). When Phil finds out, he asks Ryan to not sell to Rainie again. Dot Branning (June Brown) takes pity on Rainie and helps her to clean herself up, telling her about drug addict Donna Ludlow (Matilda Ziegler) and giving her a Bible, which makes Rainie decide to change as she finds religion. Rainie apologises to Tanya for being rude to her earlier in the week, and Tanya agrees to let her stay with her and Greg. Rainie and Cora confide in one another when Rainie says Tanya treats her like a child. When it is revealed that Tanya had an affair with Max, Rainie nearly turns to drink, but stops herself. She gets a job at the R&R club, unaware that she only got it because her boss, Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) wanted to irritate Phil. The next week, Phil demands Janine sack Rainie and she agrees but Rainie later applies for a job as an office worker with Janine's new property management business but Janine makes her a cleaner. When Phil is sent photos relating to an incident from his past, Rainie stops him turning to drink. Phil tells her about the incident and they start to kiss, but are interrupted by Pat Evans (Pam St Clement). Rainie mentions the photos to Shirley, making Shirley think Rainie is sending them so she threatens Rainie, telling her to stop.

Rainie later discovers that Tanya has cervical cancer. Max returns with his brother, Derek (Jamie Foreman), and Derek recognises Rainie from Max and Tanya's wedding and is attracted to her, later mentioning that they had sex. Rainie demands to know why Tanya stopped her treatment and she explains that it did not work for their father and admits she helped him die, shattering Rainie and Cora. Though Tanya and Cora reconcile, Rainie is still angry, telling Tanya she hopes the cancer kills her. She sleeps rough, but then meets Derek and starts a sexual relationship him.[3] When Rainie asks Tanya to apologise over their father but she refuses, as she does not regret it. Cora backs Tanya up and tells Rainie she is ashamed to be her mother so Rainie decides to leave for Tanya's sake, though she apologises for her comments. She breaks up with Derek and leaves.[4]

In October 2012, Tanya and Max decide to remarry. Tanya wants Rainie to attend the wedding but doesn't know where she is and asks Cora to track her down. With help from Jack, Cora manages to get in touch with Rainie and arranges to meet her at a pub, but upon arriving, Rainie has sent her sponsor Olivia (Samantha Best), to the pub with a letter. Olivia explains that Rainie has been sober for 41 days and has a boyfriend. Rainie is pleased to have been invited to the wedding but declines to attend, stating that Cora is the reason for her alcohol and drug addictions, requesting that she will leave her alone from now on.[5]


For several weeks following the death of his daughter Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater), Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) receives texts and calls from "R", all of which he ignores. After texting her to leave him alone, "R" comes to Walford and is revealed to be Rainie. She blackmails Ian, threatening to tell his fiancée Denise Fox (Diane Parish) and son Peter Beale (Ben Hardy) that he was seeing her as a prostitute on Good Friday, the night of Lucy's death. When Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker) sees Rainie, she reveals what Ian has done, but he is unable to tell Denise when he suffers a stroke. Ian meets Rainie to tell her that he will not pay her anymore, but Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) catches Ian and pulls up behind him. Ian drives away so Rainie approaches Mick, thinking he is a customer. He rejects her but the police arrest him for soliciting a prostitute.

To protect Ian, Mick pleads guilty. Rainie and Cora meet at the court, as Cora has come to support Linda Carter (Kellie Bright). Cora confronts Rainie, and realises that she is the prostitute involved, and sees how low she has fallen and gives her money to fund her addiction so she can stop her prostitution. Ian tells Phil what has happened, so Phil pays Rainie, telling her to stop blackmailing Ian. Phil finds a flat for Rainie in Walford but she is thrown out by her landlord because of her prostitution. Phil takes Rainie to Cora to deal with her, so Cora lets Rainie live with her. Rainie tries to blackmail Mick into giving her more money but he insults and humiliates her. She then tells Denise about her night with Ian. Cora promises to help her get clean, but when she goes out, she returns to find Rainie gone and that she has stolen all her money. A flashback later reveals what happened between Rainie and Ian on the day Lucy died.

For several weeks following the death of his daughter Lucy Beale, Ian Beale receives texts and calls from "R", all of which he ignores. After texting her to leave him alone, "R" comes to Walford and is revealed to be Rainie. She blackmails Ian, telling him that if he doesn't give her money, she will reveal that he was seeing her, a prostitute, on the night of Lucy's death to his fiancée Denise Fox and son Peter Beale.


Rainie makes an appearance in January 2018, in order to visit her niece Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald), whose life support is to be turned off. Rainie brings a diamond healer as a gift to Abi. The family are devastated when Abi's life support is switched off and her heart stops beating.

When Max and Rainie return to Walford, following a break away after Abi's funeral, he marries Rainie and later introduces her as his wife at E20 to the residents.

That same day, he reveals he and Rainie have re-opened the car lot as Maximum Motors. A few days later, Jack is confused to find Max in a meeting with Rainie and Calvin, a social worker, over Abi's daughter’s custody. Max tries and gets Jack behind the idea. Later, it is revealed that the marriage between Max and Rainie is a business agreement so Max can gain custody of Abi Branning Jr.


The character originally appeared for two episodes on 2 and 3 August 2007, and then returned for four episodes between 7 and 11 January 2008. Franks was asked to return again later in 2008 but could not make it, so Franks thought Rainie would not be seen again. She returned for the longer stint in 2010, starting on 3 August. Franks did not expect to be asked to return in 2010, and said the call came as a surprise. She said it was "ideal" because it fitted in with another acting job she was undertaking at the time. She commented that Rainie would be "unlikely to return without stirring up a bit of trouble". Rainie returned again on 12 April 2011 as a regular character, for Tanya's wedding to Greg Jessop, along with Tanya and Rainie's mother Cora, where Cora tries to build bridges between the sisters.

“ Rainie's been round the block and back again. Sly, manipulative and ruthless, Rainie struggled with everything - family, men and drug addiction. She was a thorn in her sister's side - she would beg, borrow and steal to fuel her heroin addiction. Selfish, and frequently self-pitying, Rainie was quick to point the finger of blame at Tanya and her mum Cora, rather than take responsibility for her actions. ” — The BBC on Rainie (2011) In April 2011 it was reported by The Sun that Rainie would have a one-night stand with Jack Branning on 6 May 2011 after he discovers his son is dead and she comforts him. In May 2011, it was announced that Cora would return to the series, and executive producer Bryan Kirkwood said he was "keen to establish the Cross women—Rainie completes the mix as the slightly broken sister who's one step away from a vodka bottle." Rainie has been described as "troublesome" and "troubled". On her official BBC character profile she is described as sly, manipulative and ruthless, and that she "spells trouble with a capital T!". It finishes saying, "But behind the wild partying, Rainie is a lost soul with a soft, vulnerable side that yearns to get her life back on track and impress her older sister Tanya."


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