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EastEnders Wiki
EastEnders Wiki

Sylvie Carter (née Smith) was the ex wife of Stan Carter and the mother of Shirley and Tina Carter and the adopted mother of Mick Carter.

Initially Sylvie remained as an unseen character for almost a year, with her being mentioned on numerous occasions, but eventually made her first appearance 11 December 2014.



Sylvie Smith was born on the 7th March 1942. In June 1944, Sylvie and her mum were evacuated to Stepney Green Tube Station when the doodlebugs hit London. In 1949, a sister Babe Smith was born. Sylvie met and married Stan Carter in 1962. They had a daughter Shirley Carter in 1963 and Tina Carter in 1974. Sylvie walked out on her family years ago after struggling with a house full of kids, an abusive husband in Stan and having to raise a child that wasn't her own, he was her grandchild, Mick Carter, born to a teenage Shirley after a fling with Buster Briggs.

When Sylvie was sixteen she won first place in Miss Canning Town 1958. Moira Dunn was Sylvie's best friend who was good at sewing at the time. After Sylvie got her photo taken her and Moria went for chips, the pub opposite played the song Tulips From Amsterdam. Sylvie's dad called her Marilyn Monroe, when we got home. Sylvie tried to hide her sash in the toilet but her mum took the key out of the door and as soon as her dad went up the club, her mum burnt her sash and made her scrub her face. Her mum clipped her around the ear dragged her outside and locked her in the coal shed the whole night. Sylvie made her fingers bleed, trying to get that door open because there was no latch on the inside. When she got free she said to her mum that was one of the best days my life, why did you ruin it?, her mum said I can't remember.

When Shirley was six, Sylvie sent her down the corner shop to get her cigarettes during the night. Sylvie gave Shirley a pat on the head and a penny to get some sweets. When Shirley came home, Sylvie left her sitting on the front doorstep in the pouring rain for 20 minutes, while she finished her bath.

2014: Arrival[]

Sylvie is first mentioned in January 2014, when Stan and Shirley reminisce about she left them when they were children, over thirty years ago. In December 2014, Shirley and Mick visit their aunt, Sylvie's sister, Babe Smith, and discover that she has been living with her, since her diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, five years previously. Although she is still hostile towards Shirley, she takes a shine to Mick and when he cannot get hold of Babe, he and Shirley take Sylvie back to their home in Walford. Babe is angry to discover this, especially when she goes missing and when Sylvie is found, Babe takes her home. On Christmas Eve, Mick, Shirley and Babe take Sylvie out for lunch, to which Mick gets her a present, but Sylvie remains hostile to Shirley. At the end of the meal, Sylvie tells Mick that she wants to spend Christmas with him and his family and Babe brings her to their pub, The Queen Victoria, the following day, upsetting Stan. When Stan learns the truth about Mick's parentage, as he is Shirley's biological son, he blames Babe, who then abandons Sylvie and she moves in with them. Later, Stan attempts to talk to Sylvie, but she ignores him and this causes him to snap at her. When Babe eventually decides to take Sylvie home, she informs Stan that he did make her happy, before leaving, returning briefly for a dance party at the local community centre, where she kisses Stan. Babe is angry that Sylvie has left home, without her permission and also reveals that she had a crush on Stan, before him and Sylvie became a couple. When Babe announces that she is struggling to take care of Sylvie and that she is going to put her into a care home, they arrange a leaving party for her and her and Stan reminisce, about how they used to love each other. When Shirley sits down and explains to Mick why she could not be a mother to him, revealing that it was Sylvie and Babe's fault, as they tried to cause her to miscarry, by pushing her down the stairs, and would not even let her hold him, when she had just given birth to him, he disowns them.

2015: Getting to know the Carters[]

In April 2015, Babe takes Sylvie to see Stan, who is terminally ill, in a hospice, in the hope of causing trouble between him and his new fiancée, Cora Cross. However, Stan and Sylvie admit to each other that they made the right decision to separate and take off each other's wedding rings, before saying an emotional goodbye. Sylvie later appears when Babe returns from Stan's funeral and reveals to Sylvie that Stan has died. It transpires that Babe did not tell Sylvie about Stan's death straight away, because she wanted to attend his funeral without her. When Sylvie tries to visit the rest of the Carter family to comfort them, Babe becomes hostile and orders her to stay put. When Sylvie exclaims that no man would ever love her, Babe slaps her and she then pretends to be upset and holds her cheek in pain, leading to Babe hugging her, only for Sylvie to bite her neck as revenge for slapping her. Sylvie then tries to call the police on Babe, as she and Queenie Trott, broke the law when they lived in Ramsgate. Babe then manipulates Sylvie into not going through with it.

Tina brings Sylvie to Mick and Linda's wedding, though Shirley is angry about this. When asked, Sylvie does not remember why she is there and after being told, she then mistakes Mick's eldest son Lee Carter for Mick. In June, Sylvie is escorted to The Queen Vic by the police because she was found and would only say the name of the pub. Sylvie's social worker visits and reveals that Sylvie has made unwanted sexual advances to other residents at her care home, though the home would welcome her back. The Carters decide the home is not good enough and try to find a new one, but Sylvie is not considered a priority case, so they are forced to look after her. Linda becomes worried for the safety of her infant son Ollie Carter when Sylvie calls him a slug and threatens to pour salt on him, so Tina allows Sylvie to move in with her and her girlfriend Sonia Fowler, which Sonia finds difficult adapting to. After Babe is locked in the freezer at The Queen Vic, Sylvie makes a trifle and attempts to replace Babe's status in the family. Babe's memory from the attack eventually returns, and tells Mick and Linda that it was Sylvie who locked her in the freezer. After Sylvie seemingly confesses to attacking Babe and arguing with Shirley, it is revealed that Abi Branning was the real culprit, with Babe framing Sylvie in an attempt to have her sent back to a care home. Eventually, Sonia breaks up with Tina and moves to Kettering, so Tina and Sylvie move out of the house and in with Shirley, after her relationship with Buster Briggs ends.

Babe looks after Sylvie, who insults Babe, so Babe convinces her they are meeting Stan and takes her in the rain to a canal, leaving her there. Sylvie is later found and brought back home, where she is scared of Babe. Babe denies any involvement but eventually rants that she is more family than Sylvie and rants at Sylvie, saying she should have drowned. Mick ejects Babe from the pub and tells her never to return, which delights Sylvie. Soon, Tina realises Shirley is tricking Sylvie into sleeping for most of the day to avoid caring for her. Shirley admits she is struggling and Sylvie should go into care, but Tina insists she belongs with them. Tina insists on celebrating Sylvie's seventy fifth birthday, though Shirley says she will not remember and it will be a waste of time.

2017: Death[]

On Sylvie's birthday, Sylvie is unaware of what is going on and Shirley says that her dementia is getting worse. The next day, Sylvie shares a memory with Shirley and Tina about her mother being abusive towards her, leaving Shirley angry because Sylvie was abusive to her. Tina accuses Shirley of avoiding the flat and her responsibility towards Sylvie, so Shirley walks out. Shirley then decides to go to prison to solve the Carters' debt problems, and as a way to avoid caring for Sylvie. A few days later, Tina leaves Sylvie at the café while she and Mick visit Shirley in prison. On their return, a confused Sylvie is attacking Kathy Beale, so Tina considers care for Sylvie, which scares Sylvie. A few days later, Tina leaves Sylvie alone most of the day and when she gets home, Sylvie is in the bath and scared. Kathy realises that Tina hates the idea of someone else caring for Sylvie and makes her realise that it is what is best for Sylvie, so Tina makes a call about getting her into a care home. The day before Sylvie is due to be assessed by social services, Tina, Johnny and Whitney arrange a 1960s-themed party for her in The Queen Vic. Sylvie has a moment of clarity when some men harass Tina in the pub and she defends her daughter, but later she tells Tina, believing her to be a stranger, that she was a bad mother but never stopped loving her children, despite not knowing where they are now; Tina cries. Sylvie enjoys the party, and at the end of the night, Tina puts her to bed with a CD. Sylvie wakes in the night, confused, and runs herself a bath, taking the CD player with her, plugged into the mains. After The Queen Vic closes, the power goes out, so Tina, Johnny and Whitney investigate, and Tina is distraught to find Sylvie electrocuted in the bath.

See also[]