Martin in 2009 at Wendy Richard's funeral service
|Born||Derek William Rapp
11 April 1933
Bow, East London, England
|Spouse(s)||Christine Ann Rigg (1971–?) (divorced)
Gloria J. Mitchell (1961–?) (divorced)
Derek Martin (born Derek William Rapp on 11 April 1933) is a British actor who is best known for his role as Charlie Slater in the British soap opera EastEnders which he played from 2000–11, and briefly again in 2013 and 2016.
Martin started his entertainment career as a stuntman, but after breaking his collar bone filming the drama Elizabeth R, he switched to acting. He featured in the BBC television series Paul Temple, and his film appearances include Secrets of a Windmill Girl (1966), The Sex Thief (1973), Eskimo Nell (1975), Sex Express (aka Diversions) (1975), Adventures of a Plumber's Mate (1978), Ragtime (1981), Spaghetti House (1982), and Boston Kickout (1995).
In 1978 he appeared as Detective Inspector Fred Pyle in The Detective's Tale, the first play in the BBC television series Law and Order. From 1981-82, he played Det. Insp. Berwick in two series of the BBC drama The Chinese Detective. In 1982 he became the second actor to take on the role of R. D. Wingfield's fictional Detective Inspector Jack Frost, starring in a BBC radio adaptation of A Touch of Frost. In 1984 he appeared in an episode of season five of Minder. Between 1986 and 1988 he appeared in two series of King & Castle, devised and co-written by The Sweeney creator Ian Kennedy Martin, alongside Nigel Planer. He played the role of ex policeman Ronald King, now running a debt collection agency in London's East End. He then starred in Eldorado, as Alex Morris. He has also made guest appearances in many television programmes including Doctor Who (appearing in The Ambassadors of Death as an uncredited heavy, The Claws of Axos as an uncredited UNIT soldier and Image of the Fendahl as policeman David Mitchell), The Sweeney episode 'Messenger of the Gods' as the villain Spooner, Upstairs, Downstairs, The Bill and Only Fools and Horses. Martin also played himself in an episode of Little Britain.
In September 2000, he started playing Charlie Slater in EastEnders. In April 2010 it was announced that Martin had been cut from the show, along with five other actors. In early 2011 he filmed a guest stint with EastEnders with Charlie due to return for two episodes around April 2011. He returned for another two episodes at Christmas 2013. On 11 February 2015, it was revealed that plans for Martin to make an EastEnders return had been called off, but in October, it was announced Martin would make a brief return for the upcoming Christmas - New Year period. He was written off the show on Thursday, 7 January 2016, in part one of two episodes, in which he suffered a cardiac arrest.
He also starred in a short film called Piggy Bank in 2004.
In February 2010 it was revealed that Martin was due to undergo an operation on his knee, expected to be around May 2010. He said his complaint was due to old age, playing football and carrying meat in an old job at Smithfield Meat Market.
- "EastEnders to axe six popular characters". BBC News. 17 April 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (2 March 2011). "Soaps - News - Charlie Slater to make brief 'Enders return - Digital Spy". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
- Rollo, Sarah (6 February 2010). "'Enders star's knee injury to be scripted". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 May 2010.