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Karen Jane Wallace (born 25 September 1971), known professionally as Jessie Wallace, is an English actress. She is known for portraying the role of Kat Slater in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, which she has played from 2000–2005, 2010–2016 and from 2018 onwards. Her role as Kat won her the National Television Awards for Most Popular Newcomer (2001) and also won the British Soap Awards Best Newcomer (2001) and Most Popular Actress (2003), and the British Soap Award for Best Actress (2011). She was also nominated for the 2011 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Pat Phoenix in the BBC Four drama The Road to Coronation Street.

Jessie Wallace
Jessie Wallace
Wallace in 2016
Born
Karen Jane Wallace

(1971-09-25) 25 September 1971 (age 47)
Enfield, England
OccupationActress
Years active1999–present
Known forEastEnders (2000–2005, 2010–2016, 2018–present)
Kat and Alfie: Redwater (2017)
Children1

Early lifeEdit

Wallace was born in Enfield, North London,[1] to James, a telecommunications engineer, and Annette, a secretary.[2] Wallace is of English, Jewish and Irish ancestry.[3] Her parents divorced when she was aged three and she and her sister were raised by their father (however, she did see her mother at weekends).[2] She adopted her stage name after her late grandmother.[4]

CareerEdit

After schooling, Wallace trained as a make-up artist at the College of North East London in Tottenham and worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company for two years. She met and became friends with actor Iain Glen, who helped her apply for London drama college The Poor School, from where she graduated in 1999. While undertaking auditions – including for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, she worked as a barmaid at her local pub, The Royal Oak in Loughton, Essex.[5]

Her first television appearance was in an episode of the ITV police drama series The Bill in 1999. Wallace is best known for playing the role of Kat Slater in BBC One soap opera EastEnders between 2000 and 2005.[6] In Summer 2008, Wallace said she hadn't ruled out a return to EastEnders. In February 2010 it was announced that Shane Richie was returning to play Alfie Moon, leading to large amounts of speculation as to whether Wallace would also be returning. On 9 February 2010, the BBC confirmed that Jessie would be returning to EastEnders, reprising her role as Kat Slater. She and Alfie returned to screens in the Autumn of 2010.[7] On 4 April 2015, the BBC announced that Wallace and Richie will depart from the show temporarily to appear in a six-part BBC One drama series, Redwater. In the series, Kat and Alfie will visit Ireland in the "search for answers to some very big questions". Speaking about the show, Wallace commented: "I have always loved working on EastEnders so when I heard of this new drama to take Kat and Alfie outside of Walford, I couldn’t believe our luck. To be exploring the next chapter for Kat as well as working alongside my best mate, Shane, is a dream come true and a huge compliment." However, Wallace and Richie revealed on This Morning on 20 January 2016 that Kat and Alfie will not be returning to EastEnders after the six-part drama.[8] In December 2017 it was announced that Wallace would reprise the role of Kat from Spring 2018.[9]

During her break from EastEnders, Wallace made television guest appearances, including once as Kat Slater, in the 2005 French & Saunders Christmas special. On 17 February 2006, Wallace was the guest host of an edition of the Channel 4 programme The Friday Night Project. She appeared in the one-off BBC One television dramas A Class Apart opposite Nathaniel Parker, and The Dinner Party with Lee Evans and Alison Steadman. After visiting Hat Trick Productions with her agent, and singing an impromptu version of Marie Lloyd's song "The Boy I Love Is Up in the Gallery", she was offered the lead role in Miss Marie Lloyd – Queen of The Music Hall for BBC Four.[10]

Wallace made her West End theatre debut, replacing Denise van Outen in the role of "Maureen" in Rent remixed at the Duke of York's Theatre from 27 December 2007 until 2 February 2008.[11] Wallace played Amy Kriel in the third series of ITV's Wild at Heart, and starred in a run of the play Haunted at the Arts Theatre from 24 May.[12][13]

Wallace competed with partner Darren Bennett in the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing which began on 20 September 2008. She was eliminated in week 4.

Wallace toured the UK in the 25th Anniversary production of Stepping Out by Richard Harris, playing the role of Sylvia.[14]

Wallace appeared as Pat Phoenix in The Road to Coronation Street, a one-off documentary exploring the origins and conception of Coronation Street, to mark the show's 50th anniversary in December 2010.[15]

In 2014, Wallace reprised her role as Marie Lloyd in the music video for Tim Arnold's single "The Piccadilly Trot".[16] She later appeared on Arnold's album The Soho Hobo on a duet that he wrote called "Soho Sunset".[17]

In May 2015, Wallace performed a duet at Soho Theatre with singer-songwriter Tim Arnold to mark the release of his album The Soho Hobo. The song marks her first recording on a pop album and was written especially for her by Arnold.[18][19]

In 2015, Wallace was cast as Fairy Godmother in the White Rock Theatreproduction of Cinderella.[20]

Wallace is a patron of the theatre charity The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America.[21]

In July 2015 it was announced that Wallace would appear alongside Richie in a stage adaptation of The Perfect Murder at the Theatre Royal in February 2016.[22]

Personal lifeEdit

After coming to fame in EastEnders, her personal life became the focus of many tabloid newspapers. She entered the soap cast in the later stages of a three-year relationship with Majorca based ex-criminal, Paul Whitworth. After being warned by BBC executives, she split with Whitworth, and had a holiday romance with 25-year-old American, Andy Burton, who immediately sold his story.[5]

Wallace was once suspended from EastEnders by the BBC for excess drinking, partying, and adverse publicity; she returned to the soap, but was then stopped by police and arrested for driving being one and half times over the limit. The BBC offered her counselling and while attending county court for sentencing, she was accompanied by a policeman, Dave Morgan, in case she was accosted by fans. The couple started dating, and then moved in together after Wallace confirmed she was pregnant. Wallace gave birth to daughter Tallulah Lilac on 2 November 2004, but the couple split up shortly afterwards, with Wallace's lawyers placing a gag order on Morgan.[23]

In a later tabloid story in late 2007, whilst Wallace was filming Wild at Heart in Johannesburg with her cousin Jonathan and daughter Tallulah, her best friend, Stefan, suggested she still regularly took ketamine.[24] Wallace admitted, at one point, taking drugs, but denied taking them since the birth of her daughter.[25]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Result Award Category Film or series Role
2001 Nominated British Soap Awards Sexiest Female EastEnders Kat Moon
Won British Soap Awards Best Newcomer
Won National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer
Won Inside Soap Awards Best Newcomer
Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Newcomer
2002 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress
Nominated British Soap Awards Best Dramatic Performance
Nominated British Soap Awards Hero of the Year
Won British Soap Awards Best Single Episode
Nominated British Soap Awards Best Storyline
Won British Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Nominated Inside Soap Awards Best Actress
Won Inside Soap Awards Best Storyline
Won Inside Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Nominated TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress
Nominated TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Storyline
Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Actress
2003 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress
Won British Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress
Won National Television Awards Most Popular Actress
Nominated Inside Soap Awards Best Actress
Won Inside Soap Awards Best Family (The Moons)
2004 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress
Won British Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Nominated British Soap Awards Best on Screen Partnership
Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Actress
Nominated Inside Soap Awards Best Actress
Won Inside Soap Awards Best Couple (with Shane Ritchie)
Nominated Inside Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Nominated TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress
2005 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress
Nominated British Soap Awards Sexiest Female
Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Actress
2006 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress
Nominated British Soap Awards Best Exit
2011 Won British Soap Awards Best Actress
Won British Soap Awards Best on Screen Partnership
Nominated British Soap Awards Best Storyline
Won All About Soap Awards Best Actress
Won All About Soap Awards Best Baby Drama
Won TRIC Awards TV Soap Personality
Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress
Nominated TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Storyline
Won Inside Soap Awards Best Actress
Nominated BAFTA Awards Best Supporting Actress The Road to Coronation Street Pat Phoenix
Nominated TV Times Awards Favourite Soap Star EastEnders Kat Moon
2012 Nominated National Television Awards Outstanding Serial Drama Performance
2013 Nominated British Soap Awards Best Actress
Nominated British Soap Awards Best Single Episode

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jessie Wallace interview, BBC One Show – 9 May 2008
  2. ^ a b Herbert, Emily (February 2006). Wild Kat: The True Story of Jessie Wallace, Britain's Most Exciting Star: Emily Herbert: 9781844542239: Amazon.com: Books. ISBN 978-1844542239.
  3. ^ "EastEnders star recalls childhood visit to Ireland". Rte.ie. RTÉ. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  4. ^ Dempster, Sarah (9 May 2007). "Little Miss Saucy". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  5. ^ a b "The Jessie Wallace Story". Daily Mirror. 11 November 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2008.
  6. ^ "National Television Awards". thecustard.tv. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2008.
  7. ^ "Eastenders celebrates 25 years". RTÉ News. 9 February 2010. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010.
  8. ^ Lindsay, Duncan (20 January 2016). "EastEnders spoilers: Alfie and Kat Moon will NOT be returning after their spin-off". Metro. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  9. ^ Harp, Justin (20 December 2017). "EastEnders is officially bringing back Kat Slater". Digital Spy.
  10. ^ "Jessie Wallace: The former Eastenders star becomes queen of the music hall". London: The Independent. 8 May 2007. Archived from the original on 24 June 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2008.
  11. ^ "Wallace takes Rent from Van Outen". Official London Theatre Guide. 12 December 2007. Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2008.
  12. ^ "Jessie Wallace is 'Wild at Heart'". digitalspy.co.uk. 13 August 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2007.
  13. ^ "Haunted – The play". hauntedtheplay.com. Only Hope Productions Ltd. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  14. ^ "Wallace, Capron & Ashe Stepping Out for 25 Years". Terri Paddock. Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  15. ^ "EastEnders actress Jessie Wallace nominated for Coronation Street Bafta". Amy Duncan. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  16. ^ "The Soho Hobo takes over Piccadilly Circus for revival of Marie Lloyd". Evening Standard. 17 April 2014.
  17. ^ "EastEnder Jessie Wallace sings about Soho". The Independent. 24 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Marc Almond and Jessie Wallace to perform special Soho show with Tim Arnold". Classic pop Magazine. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  19. ^ "jessie-wallaces-yoko-ono-eastenders". Daily Mirror. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  20. ^ "HQ Theatres". whiterocktheatre.org.uk.
  21. ^ "About Us". The Music Hall Guild. Retrieved 2010. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  22. ^ Barr, Gordon (24 July 2015). "EastEnders stars Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace to star together on stage at Newcastle Theatre Royal". Evening Chronicle. Archived from the original on 9 August 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Jessie Wallace:I'm happy to be a single Mum now". Sunday Mirror. 15 May 2005. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2008.
  24. ^ "EastEnders star accused of excessive drinking and drug use". Now Magazine. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2008.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Jessie Wallace admits taking drugs". Sky News Entertainment. 10 April 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2008.[dead link]

External linksEdit