Pauline Fowler was one of the original residents of Albert Square, having been in EastEnders since the show began in 1985.
She’d been through her husband Arthur’s infidelity, daughter Michelle’s teen pregnancy, and son Mark’s HIV. The episode – shown on Boxing Day 1991 – when Mark revealed he was HIV positive to his shocked and worried parents was watched by 19 million viewers.
She had a long-running feud with Den Watts, who was the father of Michelle’s daughter, Vicki.
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Pauline also thought very little of Martin’s on/off romance with Sonia Jackson.
After the break up of her second marriage, a miserable Pauline was determined to stop Martin getting back together with Sonia. She faked a brain tumour, but when she was found out, she was ostracised by her friends in the Square.
Pauline decided to go to America to stay with Michelle, but after an altercation with Sonia, she collapsed in the the Square – next to Arthur’s bench – and died under the Christmas tree.
It was later discovered that Sonia hadn’t struck the blow that killed poor Mrs Fowler. Instead, it was second husband Joe who’d killed her, by whacking her over the head with a frying pan. Just as she’d done to Arthur when she discovered he’d been cheating with the glamorous Mrs Hewitt back in 1993.
And so, it was farewell to a proper EastEnders legend. But Martin’s still on Albert Square and Ian Beale and his family live in the house where Pauline raised her family. For now at least…