Alex Healy
Alex Healy 2
Portrayed by Richard Driscoll
Gender Male Male
First Appearance 31 March 1997
Last Appearance 23 August 1999
Duration 1997–1999
Status Alive
Occupation Vicar
Classification Former; regular
FatherJeff Healy
MotherJane Healy
SistersMelanie Owen
Katie Healy
The Reverend Alexander "Alex" Healy made his first appearance 31 March 1997. Hen is portrayed by Richard Driscoll.


Alex arrived in Walford as the local vicar. He ran a homeless shelter (Bridge House) with the help of Christian follower Sarah Hills, despite protesting from many of the residents in Walford. Alex fell in love with Kathy Mitchell while her marriage to Phil had begun to crumble. Alex and Kathy later broke up when she left for South Africa, ignoring Alex's pleas to stay. A while later, Alex left the Square to work in a mission in Somalia.

Creation and development

His first major television role, Driscoll was sent to audition for EastEnders by his agent and following a screen test was given the part of vicar Alex. His first scene was with actress Daniella Denby-Ashe who played Sarah Hills. He has reflected, "I was really chuffed. But that soon turned to fear when I had my first scene with Daniella. It was so nerve-racking. I didn't really understand the set-up. I don't know how I got the words out."

Alex's most notable storyline was a love affair with Kathy Mitchell (Gillian Taylforth) who was married in the serial to Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden). Discussing the storyline, Driscoll suggested that Alex had been "wracked by emotional and spiritual turmoil ever since" sleeping with Kathy. He added, "Alex has got a lot of conflict. He's been suggesting to his father that he should work at his relationship with his wife - but there he is having an affair with a married woman. He feels a bit of a hypocrite - he feels guilty and ashamed. But the inescapable fact is he's attracted to Kathy. Something strange and wonderful happens to him when he's around her."

Driscoll quit the role in 1999, claiming that it had always been his intention to stay for only a few years: "I felt it was the right time to go. I'd learnt a hell of a lot. The pace and the turnover is incredible. It has been brilliant but I'm an actor and I want to do different things [...] When I finished, the whole cast gathered to clap me off the set. I felt it was an ending and it was sad. It was emotional because it was my first major role and there were things to prove. But it's time to move on."


A popular character with female viewers, Driscoll claims that he received "loads of fan-mail from women and would get stopped in the street by people who told him: 'If you were my vicar, I would go to church."

The character came under criticism in 1998 following his affair with Kathy Mitchell. One vicar complained that the BBC were portraying Christian characters as "jokes or frauds". Gillian Taylforth, who played Kathy, reportedly had reservations about the plot too as she feared Kathy sleeping with a vicar would cause a negative response from viewers.


Abi Branning | Amy Mitchell | | Ben Mitchell | Bex Fowler | Billy Mitchell | Carmel Kazemi | | Denise Fox | Dennis Rickman Jnr | Donna Yates | Dot Branning | Ian Beale | Jack Branning | Jane Beale | Janet Mitchell | Jay Mitchell | Jill Marsden | Kathy Beale | Khoroush Kazemi (Kush) | Kim Fox-Hubbard | Lady Di | Lily Branning | Linda Carter | Louise Mitchell | Martin Fowler | Matthew Mitchell-Cotton | Mick Carter | Patrick Trueman | Pearl Fox | Phil Mitchell | Ollie Carter | Ritchie Scott | Sharon Mitchell | Shirley Carter | Sonia Jackson | Stacey Branning |Tina Carter | Vincent Hubbard | Whitney Dean  | Johnny Carter | Honey Mitchell | Max Branning | Steven Beale | Lauren Branning
Helen | Jo | Marie Evans | Sarah | Shrimp | Tracey | Winston 
Characters (Selected)
Peggy Mitchell | Kat Moon | Alfie Moon | Sean Slater | Ryan Malloy | Jean Slater | Charlie Slater | Danny Pennant | Zainab Khan | Andrew Cotton | Yvonne Cotton | Glenda Mitchell | Carol Jackson | Charlie Cotton | Cindy Williams Jnr | Liam Butcher | Lola Pearce | Arthur Chubb (Fatboy) | Shabnam Kazemi | Cora Cross | Lee Carter | Babe Smith | Pam Coker | Les Coker | Claudette Hubbard | Preston Cooper
Characters (Selected)
Pat Evans | Stan Carter | Archie Mitchell | Nana Moon | Lou Beale | Tiffany Mitchell | Lucy Beale | Nick Cotton | Carl White | Bradley Branning | Pauline Fowler | Arthur Chubb (Fatboy) | Ronnie Mitchell  | Roxy Mitchell   | Sylvie Carter  | Paul Coker
Actors Danny Dyer | Shane Richie | Adam Woodyatt | Steve McFadden | Mike Reid | Thomas Law | Neil McDermott | Charlie Clements | John Bardon | John Altman | Peter Dean | Perry Fenwick
Actresses Barbara Windsor | Laurie Brett | Lacey Turner | Anita Dobson | Jacqueline Jossa | Rita Simons | Samantha Womack | Tameka Empson | Wendy Richard | Anna Karen