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Inside EastEnders’ Jean Slater actress Gillian Wright’s off-screen life with secret past job and near-death experience


EASTENDERS’ star Gillian Wright has turn out to be one of many Square’s hottest characters throughout her 18 years on the cleaning soap.

Her award-winning performances as Jean Slater, who has battled ovarian most cancers and psychological well being struggles, have endeared her to viewers.

Gillian Wright has appeared in a number of the nation’s best-loved revealsCredit: Getty
Gillian made her first appearance on EastEnders in 2004
Gillian made her first look on EastEnders in 2004

Jean is now going through a possible jail sentence after a hashish farm was found at her dwelling.

Viewers will quickly see her collapse in police custody because the police interrogation turns into an excessive amount of, and there are fears she might not survive a stint inside.

While she’s now cleaning soap royalty, Gillian, 61, spent years honing her craft in well-known programmes and revered performs. We check out her life away from soapland:


In 2015 Gillian had a near-death experience when she was struck down with acute pancreatitis – a fast irritation of the organ.

The ache was so extreme, she revealed she’d have taken a tablet to finish her life fairly than face it for one more day.

In an interview with the Mirror, she mentioned: “It was contact and go.

“It’s no exaggeration to say I had an actual brush with dying.

“The pain was unbearable. If somebody had given me the choice of living with that pain a day longer or swallowing a pill to end it all, I’d have taken the tablet.”


While Gillian is finest often called lovable Jean, she’s cropped up on quite a lot of main UK TV programmes.

Her first on-screen position was in well-liked children’ present Chucklevision again in 1994 reverse hapless brothers Barry and Paul.

A smattering of minor roles adopted within the likes of Casualty, Doctors and Heartbeat earlier than she was forged as Jean in 2004.

Initially solely set to function in a single episode, Jean impressed bosses and returned for a handful of episodes the next yr. She continued to crop up right here and there till 2007 when she turned a present common.

Before transferring into the Square, Gillian had a two-part position as Yvonne in rival cleaning soap Coronation Street in 2005 and starred in Silent Witness, Dalziel and Pascoe and The Bill the next yr.

More lately she appeared in Holby City as Lydia Rathbone in 2015 throughout a two-year break from Enders.


Gillian graduated from Leeds University in 1982 with a inventive arts diploma.

Before changing into a full-time actress she labored as a trainer and theatre director.

Putting her training to good use, Gillian co-founded the York-based Pilot Theatre – a touring firm aimed toward a youthful viewers.

Gillian’s theatre credit are intensive, and she stored herself busy treading the boards in her time away from EastEnders.

She appeared in How the Other Half Loves within the West End in 2016 and additionally tackled panto, starring in Sleeping Beauty on the Malvern Theatre.


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