Inside EastEnders’ Fox family now – from babies, the West End and qutting fame


EASTENDERS fans first met the Fox family back in 2016 – and they have been firm favourites on the soap ever since.

The all-female family originally followed Denise and her two daughters, Chelsea and Libby – but has continued to grow over the years.

Denise has been at the centre of the Fox family for many years
Daughter Chelsea has recently been at the centre of the drama

The trio have since been joined by other family members, filling in the background and the notable gaps on their previously uncovered past.

Over the years, the Walford icons have been at the heart of some of the biggest storylines, from murders to affairs and weddings.

There isn’t much that the trio haven’t been through – having also experienced heartbreaks, abuse and divorces.

Currently, viewers have been watching with gritted teeth as they see pregnant Chelsea deal with the arrest of her new husband Gray Atkins.

The murderer had finally been taken into custody as a notable figure in the killings of Chantelle Atkins, Tina Carter and Kush Kazemi.

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With drama looking imminent for the family, its had viewers wondering what could be next for the remaining Fox family members.

Here, we take a deep dive into the lives of the actors and actresses off screen – from the West End to starting a family and quitting fame.

Denise Fox

Denise was fist seen in Albert Square back in 2006 – introduced as a single mother moving to Walford with her daughters Chelsea and Libby.

Since arriving in the London town 16 years ago, she has gone on to marry three times, and has plenty of love gained and lost.

Denise has been at the centre of a number of special storylines during her time – including surviving a near-deadly bus crash.

She has also lost her job and descended into poverty on the soap.

Outside of the show, actress Diane Parish was married to IT specialist Sebastian Parish – and the couple had two children together.

After welcoming Kaya and Kenya, she split from her former husband and fell in love with the “man of her dreams”, Gerry Zucarello, in 2017.

In 2020, the couple revealed they had gotten engaged.

Denise has been acting since leaving school – having had two roles in EastEnders, originally playing singer Lola Christie back in 1998.

Since then she has acted exclusively on the show, as well as featuring as an expert on behind-the-scenes documentary Secrets of the Square.

Chelsea Fox

Tiana Benjamin originally played the role of Chelsea from when the character joined the soap in 2006 until 2010.

She is said to have left her role in the Harry Potter film franchise for the starring role in the popular BBC One soap.

However, she announced her departure from Albert Square four years later, turning her attentions to the silver screen.

In 2011, Tiana starred in her first film: a drama named Fast Girls.

She also played a role in the fourth episode episode of the BBC crime drama The Interceptor in 2015.

In 2020, the role of Chelsea was handed over to Zaraah Abrahams.

The actress is best known for her role as Michaela White in BBC school drama Waterloo Road, which she appeared in from 2008 to 2010.

She also starred as Joanne Jackson in ITV soap Coronation Street, before competing in Dancing On Ice in the third series.

Zaraah is believed to be single and busy focusing on her career.

Libby Fox

Libby was portrayed by Belinda Owusu, who first appeared on our screens back in 2006 when she joined the cast of EastEnders.

Given the nickname “Squiggle”, she was introduced as the half-sister of Chelsea fifteen years ago, before departing the soap in 2010.

The character was at the heart of a number of huge storylines, including a romance with Darren Miller, played by Charlie Hawkins.

She also was known on the soap for her difficult relationship with dad Owen Turner, who also appeared in a number of episodes.

Libby made her last appearance in 2010 before heading to Oxford University, only making a brief appearance again in 2014.

Since leaving the soap, Belinda now plays Nicky McKendrick in the medical drama series Holby City.

Owen Turner

Owen was introduced to the Square as Denise’s abusive ex-husband and the father of her step-daughter Libby.

Played by Lee Ross, the actor first appeared in the soap in 2006 and left the show in 2009 after a tumultuous few years.

He made his final appearance after he was murdered by Denise’s jealous new partner Lucas.

Actor Lee has since appeared on The Catherine Tate Show in a number of sketches, working alongside the comedian and Niky Wardley.

He has also had a number of guest roles on TV, including The Walking Dead, Hustle, Jericho, Murder Investigation Team and Mutual Friends.

In 2018, the soap star also starred as a retired drag queen Hugo Battersby in the West End musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

Lee has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Bedforshire University for his contribution to acting.

The star has also been nominated for a number of awards, including Best Actor at the BBC Audio Awards and Best Actor at Massachusetts Film Festival.

He was also nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor for his theatre role in Birdsong.

Lucas Johnson

Don Gilet made his debut as EastEnders murderer Lucas back in 2008 – before swiftly departing the soap two years later.

Fans will no doubt remember Lucas was responsible for the death of his ex-wife Trina Johnson, the mother of his son Jordan.

Lucas pushed his ex to the floor during a violent showdown, seeing her impaled on a rake in the garden in the process.

He also killed Libby’s father Owen Turner by strangling him in the car, before burying the body in the woods nearby.

Lucas’ character was thought to have killed two prostitutes as well – and he was taken to jail before making his return to Walford in 2020.

Away from Albert Square, actor Don lives with his partner Tracy Whitwell, who he shares a son named Flynn with.

Tracy – who also works in TV – has been on shows including Playing the Field, Soldier Soldier and Peep Show.

Trina Johnson

Sharon Duncan-Brewster joined EastEnders as Trina in 2009 and played the role for eight months before she was brutally murdered.

The actress, who is best known for playing Crystal Gordon on ITV drama Bad Girls, also appeared in Doctor Who special The Waters of Mars.

Since leaving the soap, she has also appeared in four episodes of Top Boy, and played Catherine Hunter in FIFA 17’s The Journey.

The soap star reprised her role in FIFA 18’s The Journey: Hunter Returns and FIFA 19’s The Journey: Champions.

Sharon also played Kitty in the BBC One show The Long Song in 2018.

Jordan Johnson

Michael-Joel David Stuart first appeared on screen in the BBC One soap as Jordan Johnson back in May 2008.

The character quickly found himself at the centre of one of the biggest storylines to date after discovering his mother’s body.

Trina had been murdered by his father Lucas, and Jordan was the first to uncover the grave details of the killing.

He also featured in the Ben Mitchell storyline as he was bullied by the murderous teen, who beat him in the head with a spanner.

In 2016, Joivan Wade took over the role of Jordan before he was killed off with a heroin overdose storyline away from screens.

Since Michael-Joel left the soap 12 years ago, the actor has been busy working out in the gym and keeping in top shape.

The former child star keeps his private life secret as he has appeared to have totally stepped back from the spotlight.

Kim Fox

Actress Tameka Empson has played Denise’s sister Kim since she appeared on the Square as a guest character in 2009.

The character has often found herself at the centre of the most humorous storylines, as well as a number of heartbreaks.

During the coronavirus lockdown, Tameka welcomed a baby after not telling her fans she was pregnant.

Revealing she had the child on Loose Women in 2020, she said: “I’ve been contributing to the human race… I have a baby boy, a bouncing baby boy.”

Tameka was already mum to baby girl Nylah.

As well as her EastEnders role, Tameka landed her dream role as Pearl the Police Horse in Disney’s 101 Dalmation Street in 2019.

EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday on BBC One at 7.30pm