Her character eventually met a sticky end, putting her at the centre of one of the biggest soap whodunnits of all time.But whatever happened to the original Lucy Beale? Before Hetti Bywater took on the role in 2012, the troubled teenager was played by actress Melissa Suffield. She held the part for six years, having joined the EastEnders cast at the tender age of 11, making her well and truly a Walford veteran.
But in 2010 she departed Albert Square – it was announced Melissa had been axed from the BBC soap after she allegedly ignored warnings about her “unruly” behaviour. It later emerged she was caught boozing underage, albeit just a few months away from her 18th birthday.
Melissa is now 23 – and still very much working in the performance industry. As well as being a regular face on the pantomime circuit, she also works as a dance teacher – which makes sense given she has taken ballet lessons since the age of two.In 2015 she played the lead role in Norma Jeane, a musical about Marilyn Monroe, at the Ye Olde Rose and Crown pub theatre in north London.