Gillian Wright

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Gillian Wright
Gillian Wright 2013.JPG
Wright in 2013
Born Gillian Wright
(1960-05-05) 5 May 1960 (age 54)
Bermondsey, South London, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1994–present
Television EastEnders (2004-2014)

Gillian Wright, (born; 5 May 1960)[1] is an English actress who is best known for portraying the role of Jean Slater on the long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders. She is a graduate in drama, English and dance, and was a teacher and theatre director before occupying acting roles.



Wright was originally signed for one episode on EastEnders in December 2004, but bosses brought her back into the show a year later for four more episodes. She then guest starred on and off until her character finally moved into Albert Square in November 2007. In 2006 she collected a Mental Health Media Award for her portrayal of Jean Slater, a bipolar disorder sufferer. Her departure from the show was announced in 2010, along with her on-screen daughter Stacey Slater, played by Lacey Turner[2] but it was later confirmed that she would return in spring 2011.[3] In 2012, she won the 'Best Actress' award at the Inside Soap Awards.[4] She departed EastEnders again in 2013 and returned for a short stint in 2014.


Wright is an established theatre actress, and is a visiting director and workshop leader at drama schools, universities and with young people with special needs. She is a co-founder of Pilot Theatre, currently in residence at York's Theatre Royal.

Ex-EastEnders actress Jill Halfpenny played her daughter in the comedy Jumping the Waves, which opened the award-winning Arc Theatre.

In December 2011 she played the Fairy Godmother in the pantomime Dick Whittington and His Cat at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, starring alongside Jonathan Wilkes.

In September 2013 she appeared in the world premiere of five visceral new short plays under the collective title 'Religion and Anarchy' by Steven Berkoff at the Jermyn Street Theatre. From December 2013 to January 2014, she appeared as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage.[5]


Year Title Role Notes
1994–96 ChuckleVision Mrs Stone Voice role
1998–2003 Casualty Amber Stevens Series regular
2001–05 Holby City
2002–03 Sir Gadabout: The Worst Knight in the Land Nanny
2004–14 EastEnders Jean Slater
2005 Coronation Street Yvonne 2 episodes


  1. ^ "Gillian Wright - Celebrity News". Digital Spy. Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Green, Kris (29 April 2010). "Stacey and Jean to leave 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (25 November 2010). "Jean Slater to stay on 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Dunne, Martin (23 November 2013). "Panto round-up: EastEnders star comes to town". The Comet (Archant Community Media). Retrieved 3 December 2013. 

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