Mel Owen
Melanie Owen Returns
Portrayed by Tamzin Outhwaite
First Appearance 19th October 1998
Duration 1998-2002, 2018-
Address 43 Albert Square
Status Alive
Age 46
Date of Birth 15 January 1972
Occupation Businesswoman
Classification Present; regular
HusbandIan Beale (1999)
Steve Owen (2001-02)
Ray Kelly
SonsHunter Owen
FatherJeff Healy
MotherJane Healy
BrothersAlex Healy
SistersKatie Healy Ciara Maguire (in-law)

Melanie Jane "Mel" Owen (also Healy, Beale and Kelly) was the second wife of Ian Beale and mother of Steve Owen's son Hunter. She was only married for half an hour and than tried to divorce. She left the show in 2002, and made a return on the 11 January 2018.


Mel arrived in Walford and was surprised to bump into her dead brother living down the road. Although not as surprised as we were when she married Ian!

Mel Healy was your typical good girl. A vicar's sister, blonde-haired, pretty and with a taste for bad men. As a sister of the cloth, she should have known better than get involved with ne'erdowells like Steve Owen, Dan Sullivan and Phil Mitchell (her best friend's man… oh dear). And she certainly shouldn't have married Ian Beale, which can only be attributed to temporary insanity. She wisely dumped him minutes after the wedding, on discovering that he'd lied about his daughter Lucy having cancer, just to snare her.Though it seemed like the real deal with Steve, she discovered after his death that he had set her up and was responsible for her arrest for drug smuggling charges. She managed to escape the long-arm of the law by fleeing to Portugal, pregnant, and leaving Phil to pay her bail bond.


Mel had a troubled past: She owned a business that went bankrupt, was abused by a boyfriend and was estranged from her family for some years, traveling around the Greek Islands, before reuniting with her brother, vicar Alex Healy and their father, Jeff, in Walford in October 1998.

Mel becomes involved with Ian Beale. Melanie finds the children hard to deal with at first but grows to love them. Ian and Mel plan to marry but Melanie gets cold feet, realising she doesn't truly love Ian. Ian hears her say this and blackmails her into marrying him by telling her that Lucy has cancer. The pair marry on New Year's Eve 1999, in a double wedding with Barry and Natalie Evans, but at their reception, she discovers a letter, giving Lucy the all-clear, and leaves Ian as the clock strikes midnight and the new millennium begins.

Mel leaves Ian hours after they wed. Mel then has brief flings with Billy Mitchell, Nathan Williams, Dan Sullivan and Phil Mitchell, despite Phil living with her best friend, Lisa Shaw, at the time. However, her on/off flirtation with Steve Owen is the only relationship that lasts and they marry in March 2001, despite Steve finding out that she had slept with Phil on Christmas Day 2000 in a drunken one-night stand. On their wedding day, Phil is shot by a mystery attacker and Steve is the prime suspect. Melanie suspects it is him but he protests his innocence. Phil recovers from the shooting and confronts the culprit who turns out to be Lisa. Steve forgives Mel and on Phil's instruction, he decides to frame his enemy Dan. Dan Sullivan is wrongly imprisoned for Phil's attempted murder, and after his release, believing that it was Steve who actually shot him, kidnaps Mel in revenge. Dan demands a large sum of money and Steve grows desperate. During her few days of captivity, Dan tells Mel about Steve's dodgy dealings and criminal activities. Phil comes to her rescue and Dan flees. Mel takes time out after burning down her and Steve's club, E20, as revenge for Steve's lies. He woos her round, however, and they plan to emigrate to America with Lisa Shaw, her boyfriend Mark Fowler, and Lisa's daughter, Louise Mitchell. However, Mark changes his mind and Lisa is torn as to what to do, the plan is falling apart but Steve absconds with Louise but Phil follows them and a car chase ensues; Steve swerves and crashes. Phil rescues Louise and is about to go back for Steve but is too late – the car explodes with Steve inside and he dies.

Mel is heart-broken when Steve's web of deceit and lies are uncovered after his death. She discovers that Steve was having an affair with Phil's sister, Sam, and that Steve sold their club and house behind her back. On her friend Lisa's wedding day to Mark Fowler, Melanie is arrested for drug connections after she is implicated in Steve's drug smuggling; Mel had unwittingly signed Steve's paperwork, linking the drug smuggling back to her. Facing a long spell in prison, Phil bails her for £30,000 when she discovers that she is pregnant. She then discovers that Lisa was responsible for shooting Phil and that both knew it was not Steve, despite her continued suspicions. Feeling betrayed by everyone, she toasts Steve before going to Portugal so Phil loses the £30,000. Later that year, Lisa and Louise join Mel in Portugal.

After discovering Ben stole the money from Phil's heist, she gets in touch with Ciara and tells her she knows everything. Melanie follows Ben to the ferry terminal, to his suspicion. He hides behind some posters in order to lose Melanie; it works In late January, Mel agrees to rent 43 Albert Square from Jack Branning who then asks her out for a drink however she declines as she says she 'is older and wiser'. After her son Hunter has sex with Louise Mitchell, she seduces Phil Mitchell, in order to prevent him from attacking Hunter. She says that if Phil harms Hunter, she will leak the tape to Phil's wife Sharon.

Mel's former husband Ray Kelly is mentioned several times throughout 2018, as his ex partner Mel Owen's son Hunter Owen stays in contact with him. Ray arrives at E20 Nightclub as Mel is about to respond to Jack Branning's marriage proposal. Ray tells Mel he came because Hunter told him she was in trouble, but Mel says it was a lie. Ray leaves, but Mel later calls him. They meet and talk about their past, and he says he left his job in the police because he made mistakes after she left him and that letting her go was a mistake. She says it is too late and pushes him away when he goes to kiss her, but she then kisses him.

A man named Jeff Reynolds then comes to walford into a café and talks to Ray, calling him Simon. Ray then tells Jeff that he doesn't know him and must have the wrong man. Hunter then gets suspicious of Ray and why he is always sneaking around. Hunter then listens to Ray's phone call and becomes even more suspicious. Hunter then looks in the back of Ray's car and finds loads of money and a passport with Ray being named Simon Wright. When Hunter confronts Ray about it, he says that he is still in the police force but doesn't want to worry Mel about it. Ray then takes Hunter out and gets him drunk, much to Mel's despair. That night, Ray takes Hunter home and meets up with Jeff and tells him to leave and never come back, but he tells Ray that he is buying a flat in the area from Jack. Ray then beets up Jeff and tells him to leave and never come back. The next day, Jeff asks Jack for his money back from his deposit off the flat but Jack says its out of his hands. Jeff later runs off when Ray comes towards him, making Jack suspicious. Jack threatens to tell Mel about this but later on, Ray arrives at Jack's house and tells him that he can make his life a misery if he doesn't get off his case. Ray then tells Jack that he will tell everyone about what happened to his daughter Penny Branning. Jack and Ray start to fight just as Jacks young children Amy and Ricky walk into the room.

Mel then asks Jack to do some digging on Jeff and find his criminal record. Jack does this but it turns out that he hasn't got one. Later on, Mel hears Ray on the phone to a doctor with the surname Matthews. She thinks nothing of it and goes into the café for a coffee. She overhears a nurse Sonia Fowler talking about how Dr Matthews is busy today. Mel goes to the hospital to Matthew's ward and discovers Ray with a woman and young child. The next day, Mel returns to the hospital and discovers Ray has been living two lives and he has another family. Mel speaks to a woman named Maddie Wright, who asks Mel if she can borrow 10p. They get chatting and Mel asks her if she is married. Maddie tells Mel she has a husband named Simon and they have a four year old son named Jake but her husband wanted to name him Ray. Mel tells Maddie that she did have a husband but he cheeted on her, Madie replies telling Mel she hopes she made him pay.

Character development

On October 24th 2017, it was announced that Melanie Owen would return to EastEnders after almost sixteen years away at some point in the festive/New Year period. Tamzin Outhwaite (7 Seconds, Hotel Babylon), who has played Melanie since her introduction in 1998, said "EastEnders is in my DNA and I always knew deep down that someday I would revisit Mel." John Yorke said he was "thrilled and flattered" to have Outhwaite reprise the role and looked forward to exploring her absence and "who Melanie Owen is now". John Yorke promised an "incredible" storyline for Mel when she returns and said it would "awaken a lot of old ghosts, some great memories, and a whole new series of adventures too". Originally, Mel was credited as "Melanie Owen", but since her return she's credited as simply "Mel Owen".


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