|Portrayed by|| Danniella Westbrook (1990–2000, 2009–16) |
Kim Medcalf (2002–05)
|First Appearance||19 July 1990|
|Last Appearance||8 July 2016|
|Duration||1990–1993, 1995–1996, 1999–2000, 2002–2005, 2009–2010, 2016|
|Date of Birth||13 May 1975|
Fifteen-year old Sam follows her brothers to Walford in July 1990, unhappy at home because she dislikes her mother's boyfriend, Kevin Masters. She becomes friends with Hattie Tavernier and dates Ricky Butcher. Sam's family disapproves of the relationship, so Ricky and Sam decide to elope to Gretna Green in 1991; they marry despite the Mitchells trying to stop the nuptials. Peggy admits defeat and attends their more formal blessing in Walford a month later.
Sam fails to earn schooling qualifications, but she gains attention because of her looks after winning the title of "Miss Queen Vic" at the local public house; she starts to believe she can have a career modelling, but when she attempts to get a portfolio done by a professional photographer, he persuades her to do a topless shoot and the photos are then published in a pornographic magazine. This causes problems in Ricky and Sam's relationship, which is already under strain as Ricky is unable to provide Sam with the luxurious lifestyle she desires. After just a year of marriage, Sam grows bored and begins lusting after a playboy named Clive, whom she meets at a New Year's Eve party with her friend Mandy Salter. After having a brief affair, Sam thinks she has fallen in love with Clive, but he makes it clear that he is only interested in sex when he tries to coax her into having a threesome. Realising that her marriage is over, Sam leaves her husband and Walford in 1993 to take a job as a holiday rep on a cruise ship.
Sam returns in 1995, after her brothers, on a boys holiday in Spain, catch her in bed with David Wicks, and force her to return. Sam had tried to build herself a career as a model, but it had not gone to plan and she had ended up working as a hostess in a bar. Back in Walford Sam tries to continue her fling with David and when this goes nowhere she tries to come between Ricky and his girlfriend, Bianca Jackson. Initially Ricky thinks he still has feelings for Sam, but eventually realises he is better off with Bianca and tries to let Sam down gently. However Sam won't take no for an answer and purposefully kisses an innocent Ricky in front of Bianca, causing them to split. Despite this, Ricky will not reconsider getting back with Sam and opts to try and make amends with Bianca. Sam is forced to admit defeat. Soon after, she meets a Spanish man named Guillermo, who is holidaying in England. When he invites her to join him in Spain she leaps at the chance and leaves Walford again in March 1996.
In 1999, Sam decides that she wants to settle down in Walford once more. During this time she embarks on a stormy relationship with Beppe di Marco, but she takes things more seriously than he does. After he finishes the relationship, a heartbroken Sam looks for comfort elsewhere. She turns to local club owner Steve Owen, but he is only using her to make Melanie Healy jealous, so a hurt Sam decides to leave Walford once again in 2000.
Ashamed and penniless, Sam returns to Walford with her mother. She has numerous flings: Trevor Morgan, Danny Moon, Dennis Rickman and with her former lovers, Ricky, Beppe and Steve. All of whom are using her to varying degrees. When she begins flirting with Den Watts, she is left humiliated after he sacks her from her job at his family's club.
Animosity between the Watts and Mitchell families escalates. Sam is left in charge of the Mitchell empire when her brother, Phil, goes on the run after escaping prison for an armed robbery — for which he has been set-up for by Den. Sam persuades her cousin Billy to torch Phil's snooker club in an insurance scam, an act that results in Den's club burning down and his daughter Vicki nearly perishing in the fire. Dennis vows revenge and he is only warned off when gangster Andy Hunter begins a relationship with Sam. Andy marries Sam, despite Minty Peterson's attempt to stop the event — he has fallen in love with Sam and knows Andy is using her to gain control of the Mitchell assets. Andy fools Sam into signing over control of Phil's house, and she is then conned out of all the Mitchell businesses by family lawyer Marcus Christie and Den. Marcus tells Sam that Phil wants her to sell everything and give the cash to him. She does so, selling her mother's pub, The Vic, for a vastly reduced price to Den. Marcus is lying, and once he has the Mitchells' money, he flees, leaving Sam with nothing. Andy, realising Sam is no use to him, throws her out of their house, leaving her penniless.
Sam teams up with Zoe Slater and Den's wife, Chrissie, to get revenge on Den, each humiliated by Den in differing ways. However, the women's confrontation leads to violence: Den attacks Chrissie and Zoe hits him over the head with an iron doorstop in defence. This is thought to have killed him; however, when Zoe and Sam leave the room, Den grabs Chrissie's ankle. She responds by hitting him on the head a second time, killing him. Unbeknwown to Chrissie, Sam witnesses this, but Chrissie allows Zoe to believe that her blow killed Den. As Chrissie has possession of The Vic following Den's death, Sam blackmails her, threatening to unveil her as Den's killer unless she gives her the pub. When Sam realises that Chrissie is attempting to sell the pub and leave Walford, she begins drinking heavily; she smashes up Den's grave and digs him up, hoping Chrissie will be arrested. The plan backfires; all evidence points to Sam, who is charged with murder and remanded in custody. Phil and Grant return to Walford to secure her release by proving Chrissie killed Den. Chrissie is arrested on a murder charge, while Sam is released from custody. However, she still faces a charge of perverting the course of justice and faces a prison sentence up to four years. This prospect is too daunting for Sam, and she flees to Brazil while on bail in 2005.