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Irish EastEnders star Melanie Clark Pullen dies after cancer fight

Melanie Clark Pullen, an Irish actress, died at the age of 46 after a long battle with illness.

After receiving radiation treatment, the EastEnders actress who played Pauline Fowler’s niece Mary Flaherty died on March 29.

Melanie, a native of Bray, Co Wicklow, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019. She leaves behind her spouse Simon and three children.

The following year, she was given the all-clear, telling The Irish News, “I’m cancer-free, which is amazing, so now it’s all about rehabilitation.”

However, she was sadly diagnosed with a brain tumor in June and kept her fans updated on her cancer struggle via social media.

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 played Mary Flaherty, Pauline Fowler’s long-lost great-niece, in EastEnders from 1997 to 1999. (Wendy Richard).

‘We’re terribly saddened to hear that Melanie Clark Pullen has gone away,’ the official EastEnders Twitter account said. Melanie’s family and friends remain in our hearts and minds.’

‘How sad to hear we’ve lost one of the gang,’ tweeted Andrew Lynford, who portrayed Tiffany Mitchell’s brother Simon Raymond on the show. Melanie, rest in peace. ‘Reminiscing on happier times.’

‘This is horrifying news,’ Shaun Williamson, who played Barry Evans, wrote. Melanie, rest in peace.’

Johnny Vegas’ wife, Maia Dunphy, also paid homage to the ‘kind’ and ‘talented’ entertainer.

‘Our funny, gorgeous, crazy, creative Goddess Melanie Clark Pullen is gone,’ the broadcaster wrote. What a natural force, and most importantly, what a mother. Your babies and your words will live on. Simon is in our hearts and minds.’

Melanie made her first appearance on EastEnders in a series of episodes set in Ireland, where she befriended her cousin Mark Fowler before relocating to Walford.

Melanie has also been in the mystery thriller Inspector George Gently and the period drama A Dinner Full of Herbs on ITV. Ordinary Love stars Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville as a married couple Joan and Tom, whose lives are turned upside down when Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer.

Melanie previously told The Irish Times that she was forced to tell Lesley’s character Joan that she had breast cancer just days after receiving her own diagnosis in real life. ‘It could’ve been the same chat I’d just had with the physicians a few days prior,’ she said. I was definitely still stunned, but I was able to jump right into performance mode.’

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