Gillian Wright

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Gillian Wright
Gillian Wright.JPG
Born Gillian Wright
(1960-05-05) 5 May 1960 (age 57)
Bermondsey, South London, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1994–present
Television EastEnders (2004–)

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. After guest starring in two episodes of rival soap opera Coronation Street, she then returned to EastEnders on a recurring basis 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 August 2014. She also guest starred in one episode of hospital drama, Holby City in early 2015. She returned to EastEnders for a further three episodes in July 2015 and for a further five episodes between December 2015 and January 2016. Despite coming back into the show for a further episode in April 2016, Wright confirmed that she had no plans to make a full return to the soap opera. She guest starred in the one-off live episode of Irish sitcom, Mrs Brown's Boys in June 2016.


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.

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
1994–1996 ChuckleVision Mrs Stone Voiceover Role
1998 Casualty Amber Stevens 1 Episode
2003 Holby City Candice Holloway
2002–2003 Sir Gadabout: The Worst Knight in the Land Nanny Main Role
2003 The Bill Sharon Little 2 Episodes
2004– EastEnders Jean Slater Recurring Role (2004–2007, 2014–)
Regular Role (2007–2013)
2005 Coronation Street Yvonne 2 Episodes
2015 Holby City Lydia Rathbone 1 Episode


  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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  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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