Mary Clark Pullen as Mary Flaherty smiling in EastEnders

EastEnders: Melanie Clark Pullen dies aged 46

She played Mary Flaherty in the BBC soap

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Melanie Clark Pullen, who starred in EastEnders in the 1990s has died aged 46.

The actress played Mary Flaherty, the long-lost great niece of Pauline Fowler between 1997 and 1999.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019 and sadly died on March 29 2022.

She leaves behind husband Simon and three children.

Melanie Clark Pullen in EastEnders as Mary Flaherty smiling with her chin in her hands
Melanie played Mary Flaherty in EastEnders (Credit: Tony Larkin/Shutterstock)

Read more: Emmerdale’s Tony Audenshaw reveals pain of wife’s death aged 43

Who did Melanie Clark Pullen play in EastEnders?

Mary Flaherty was the long-lost great niece of show stalwart Pauline Fowler.

Pauline discovered she had a sister in Ireland in 1997 and the Fowlers took a trip to meet her.

Mary ultimately came back to live in Walford and was close to Pauline and her cousin Mark.

After romances with Joe Wicks and Matthew Rose, Mary left in 1999 to move to Scotland with her father and his pregnant girlfriend, Ruth Fowler.

Melanie Clark Pullen dies, aged 46

The actress was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 and underwent chemotherapy.

During her treatment it was discovered she had the BRCA 2 gene and was advised to undergo a double mastectomy. She also had her ovaries and tubes removed and had five rounds of radiotherapy.

In 2020, she was given the all clear, telling The Irish News: “I got the all clear; I’m cancer free, which is great, so now it’s all about recovery.”

However, she revealed on her website in June 2021 that the cancer had returned and she now had a brain tumour.

She wrote: “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 was very open on her Facebook page about her progress and treatment.

Her last post, on March 14, saw her happy and smiling as she visited family.

However, she had informed followers previously she was intending to keep a low profile as she worked out her next options in terms of treatment.

Tributes pour in

Friends and former colleagues have all shared tributes on social media.

Former EastEnders co-star Andrew Lynford, who played Tiffany Mitchell’s brother, Simon Raymond, lead the tributes.

EastEnders also posted to Twitter.

Melanie Clark Pullen in A Dinner Full of Herbs
She also starred in a Catherine Cookson drama on ITV (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Who is in the cast of EastEnders 2022?

What else was Melanie in?

As well as EastEnders, Melanie also starred in several period dramas, including Catherine Cookson’s A Dinner Full of Herbs.

She was in Inspector George Gently, and The Clinic.

Melanie also played a doctor in film Ordinary Love, which followed a couple through the wife’s cancer diagnosis and starred Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville.

Melanie also hosted a podcast called Strut and Bellow.

EastEnders usually airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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