EastEnders star Melanie Clark Pullen dies aged 46 after cancer battle

EastEnders star Melanie Clark Pullen dead: Actress who played Pauline Fowler’s niece loses cancer battle at the age of 46

  • Melanie died on March 29 after undergoing radiotherapy treatment
  • The TV star leaves behind her husband Simon and three children
  • She was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019

Melanie Clark Pullen has died at the age of 46 after battling cancer.

The EastEnders star, who played Pauline Fowler’s niece Mary Flaherty, died on March 29 after undergoing radiotherapy treatment.

Melanie, who leaves behind her husband Simon and three children, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019.

Tragic: EastEnders star Melanie Clark Pullen has died at the age of 46 after battling cancer (pictured on EastEnders in 1998)

She was given the all-clear the following year, telling The Irish News at the time: ‘I got the all clear, I’m cancer free, which is great, so now it’s all about recovery.’

But in June, she was tragically diagnosed with a brain tumour and kept her fans up to date with her cancer battle online.

She said after her second diagnosis: ‘I was only given the all clear from cancer 18 months ago and it’s a cruel blow to think that I will now be starting into some kind of treatment again and that this time it will be long term and a permanent fixture of my life.’

Melanie starred in EastEnders from 1997 to 1999 as as Mary Flaherty, the long-lost great-niece of Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard). 

Last picture: The mother-of-three was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019 and given the all-clear the following year. But in June she was diagnosed with a brain tumour (seen with her father in an Instagram post from March 14)

Famous family: Melanie starred in EastEnders from 1997 to 1999 as as Mary Flaherty, the long-lost great-niece of Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard who played Pauline is pictured) 

Tributes poured in for the actress after her death was reported in The Sun., with the official EastEnders Twitter account sharing: ‘We’re deeply saddened to hear that Melanie Clark Pullen has passed away. Our love and thoughts are with Melanie’s family and friends.’

Andrew Lynford, who played Tiffany Mitchell’s brother, Simon Raymond on the show, tweeted: ‘How sad to hear we have lost one of the gang. RIP dear Melanie. Remembering happy days.’ 

Shaun Williamson, who played Barry Evans, penned: ‘This is horrendous news. RIP Melanie [broken heart emoji, broken heart emoji] 

Heartbreaking: Melanie, who leaves behind her husband Simon and three children, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019 (pictured with her family) 

Maia Dunphy, the wife of Johnny Vegas, also paid tribute to the ‘generous’ and ‘creative’ star.

The Irish broadcaster wrote: ‘Our funny, beautiful, eccentric, creative Goddess Melanie Clark Pullen is gone. 

‘What a force of nature, & most importantly, what a Mama. Your words and your babies live on. Our love and thoughts are with Simon.’  

Melanie arrived on EastEnders in a series of episodes set in Ireland, and befriends her cousin Mark Fowler before moving to Walford.

RIP: Tributes poured in for the soap star after her premature death 

Mary breaks her pelvis whilst on holiday in Norfolk and later moves to Scotland with her father Conor and his pregnant lover, Mark’s wife Ruth Fowler.

Actress Melanie also starred in ITV period drama A Dinner Full of Herbs, and crime drama Inspector George Gently.

She also starred as a doctor in 2019 film Ordinary Love, which sees Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville play married couple Joan and Tom, whose lives are changed with Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer. 

As seen on screen: She arrived on the soap opera in a series of episodes set in Ireland before moving to Walford (pictured with co-star Barbara Windsor who plays Peggy Mitchell) 

Upsetting: Last June, Melanie was tragically diagnosed with a brain tumour and kept her fans up to date with her cancer battle online

Previously speaking to The Irish Times, Melanie explained that she ended up having to tell Lesley’s character Joan that she had breast cancer just days after she had received her own diagnosis in real life.

She told the publication: ‘It could’ve been the same conversation I’d had with the doctors just a few days beforehand. 

‘I think I was still probably in shock when I did that but I was able to go straight into performance mode.’

Melanie, who ran a coaching business Strut and Bellow, said she found it hard to describe in words what it was like battling cancer, saying she got out her feelings through art therapy. 

‘It’s been brutal, horrific, I’m forever changed,’ she added. 

Career: Actress Melanie also starred in ITV period drama A Dinner Full of Herbs (pictured), and crime drama Inspector George Gently

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