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)
SonsHunter Owen
FatherJeff Healy
MotherJane Healy
BrothersAlex Healy
SistersKatie Healy Ciara Maguire (in-law)

Melanie Jane "Mel" Owen (also Healy and Beale), played by Tamzin Outhwaite, 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.

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