Your guide to EastEnders’ Watts family tree from Sharon to Dirty Den

EastEnders : 1985 : Den, Angie, Sharon Watts Ref. Number: 319033 BBC

YOU’VE got to love an OG soap family – and in EastEnders, that’s the Watts.

Since the BBC soap first aired in 1985, members of the Watts family have dominated Albert Square.

The Watts are one of the original EastEnders families

While it began with a warring couple and their adopted daughter, it has since seen various other members arrive in Walford.

Here’s a reminder of who is who in the Watts clan.

‘Dirty’ Den Watts

Den Watts received the nickname ‘Dirty Den’ for his philandering and scheming ways

Leslie Grantham made his debut as Den Watts – the Queen Vic’s original landlord – when EastEnders first aired in February 1985.

His turbulent marriage with wife Angie dominated early storylines, culminating with the iconic Christmas Day 1986 scene where he served her divorce papers after discovering she had lied about having six months left to live.

The episode was watched by 30 million people and remains one of the most watched programmes of all time.

Despite the end of his marriage to Angie, Den remained close to their adopted daughter Sharon.

But he gained the nickname ‘Dirty Den’ after impregnating 16-year-old Michelle Fowler.

He was infamously ‘killed off’ in 1989 after being shot by The Firm – a criminal organisation he had become mixed up in – while by a canal.

However, Den made a shock return in 2003, along with daughter Vicki, son Dennis and later, second wife Chrissie.

Den clashed with his son Dennis over his feelings for Sharon, while also sparking a feud with her ex-husband, Phil Mitchell.

He conned Sam Mitchell into relinquishing her ownership of the Queen Vic and in 2005 he was killed off for good during the show’s 20th anniversary episode.

Having made victims out of Chrissie, Sam and Zoe Slater, the three women conspired to destroy Den’s relationship with Sharon.

It prompted Den to attack Chrissie, before he was hit on the head with Pauline’s dog doorstop by Zoe.

The blow didn’t kill him, so Chrissie finished the job, bludgeoning him to death.

Angie Watts

Angie Watts was played by Anita Dobson

Troubled Angie Watts was played by Anita Dobson from when the soap first began until 1988.

She was the adoptive mother of Sharon and the alcoholic first wife of Dirty Den.

The couple had a turbulent marriage, and Angie struggled to cope with her husband philandering ways, even attempting suicide at one point.

When Den decided to tell Angie he was leaving her for his mistress, Jan, Angie falsely told him she only had six months to live.

Den discovers this to be a lie during the second honeymoon he had arranged for them, when a drunken Angie confessed all to a barman, not realising her husband was there.

It lead to the epic Christmas Day showdown as mentioned above.

The following year sees Angie get a new job managing a rival bar as she thrashed out her divorce with Den.

Despite one night of passion after being set up by daughter Sharon, the couple eventually agreed to run the Vic as business partners, not husband and wife.

However, in 1988 Angie suffered kidney failure due to her excessive drinking and following her recovery, she went on holiday to Spain.

When she returned to Walford, she had fallen in love with Sonny, and planned to start a new life with him in Spain.

She tried to keep her plans a secret but Den eventually found out and makes sure she can’t get a penny out of him.

After a final showdown, Angie left the Square in a taxi and it is later revealed she left Sonny and moved to America before remarrying.

Angie was given an off-screen death in 2002, with Sharon revealing she had a slow painful decline due to cirrhosis of the liver, having also experienced alcohol-related dementia.

Sharon Watts

Leticia Dean plays Sharon, who has had her fair share of drama for nearly 40 years on the Square

Sharon is the adoptive daughter of Den and Angie and played by Leticia Dean.

When the soap first began, Sharon was a teenager, but in the early 90s she came into her own thanks to her relationships with the Mitchell brothers.

Sharon was married to Grant Mitchell, but their relationship with plagued by Grant’s violent outburts, and she kept falling into the arms of his brother, Phil.

The storyline – dubbed Sharongate – climaxed in 1994 with Sharon’s taped confession being played by Grant at Phil and Kathy’s engagement party in the Vic.

After leaving Walford for America, Sharon returned with her mother Angie’s ashes and embarked on a new relationship with Tom Banks.

She was held hostage by Tom’s unstable wife Sadie, before the pair opened a new bar, Angie’s Den.

The couple planned to marry but on the night of their engagement party, Tom helped save Little Mo from a house fire before racing back in to try and rescue her husband, Trevor.

Sadly, he died when the fire caused an explosion, killing both men.

Sharon then discovered she had a half-brother, Den, from one of her dad’s many affairs, before the pair fell in love.

Their romance was halted by the shock return of dad Den, who blackmailed Dennis into ending it.

On Christmas Day 2004, the pair plan to move to America, but Zoe Slater – who Dennis had been begrudgingly dating – lied and said she was pregnant after concocting the plan with Den.

This prompted Sharon to leave, and during her absence, Den was killed by second wife Chrissie.

When Sharon returned, she had reunited with Dennis and the pair eventually married before Sharon discovered she was pregnant.

Sadly, their happiness was short lived as the couple got caught up in drama with gangster Johnny Allen, ultimately leading to Dennis being stabbed on New Year’s Day and dying in Sharon’s arms.

Sharon welcomes their son Dennis Jr off screen while living in America, before eventually returning to Walford in 2012.

She had a shortlived engagement to Jack Branning before eventually reuniting with Phil.

However, the pair keep double-crossing one another but end up getting married after all.

Over the following years the couple have broken up and reunited many times, but it was over once and for all after she embarked on an affair with toyboy, Keanu Taylor.

It lead to Sharon discovering she was pregnant, but pretending to Phil the baby was his.

As with any lie in soapland, it was eventually exposed and Phil ended their marriage on Christmas Day.

Sharon gave birth to son Albie – but in a heartbreaking twist – he was born at the same time that her son Dennis died in a boat accident.

Sharon considered suicide but was stopped by Ian Beale, and after initially giving up Albie to Keanu’s mother Karen, she decided to get her son back and raise him herself.

Dennis Rickman

Dennis Rickman – played by Nigel Harman – met a tragic end

Dennis was played by Nigel Harman from 2003 to 2005, and was the son of Den Watts and one of his teenage flings, Paula.

Dennis soon became central to storylines, killing his former gangland boss Jack Dalton after discovering he was responsible for Dirty Den’s ‘death’ in 1989.

However, before the killing, he discovered Den had survived, and when his dad eventually showed up in Walford, father and son soon found themselves at loggerheads, particularly over Dennis’ feelings for Den’s adopted daughter Sharon.

Dennis also had a feud with Sharon’s ex, Phil Mitchell, and briefly dates Zoe Slater after being blackmailed into ending things with Sharon.

As previously mentioned, the couple eventually married and found out they were having a baby together, but Dennis became enemies with the square’s reigning crime lord Johnny Allen.

Dennis attacked Johnny after discovering he had throttled Sharon and told her to leave Albert Square, but Johnny survived the attack and got his henchman to Danny Moon to kill Dennis in retribution.

Chrissie Watts

Chrissie Watts was Dirty Den’s second wife

Chrissie Watts was played by Tracy-Ann Oberman and was the second wife of Dirty Den.

She arrived in Albert Square in April 2004 and was as devious and scheming as her infamous husband.

She had numerous feuds while in the Square, including her archenemy Sam Mitchell, as well as Kat Slater, Kate Morton – who she discovered had been sleeping with Den – and Zoe Slater.

Chrissie was central to the major storyline killing of Den once and for all, blugeoning him to death before burying him in a hole in the pub’s cellar – with the help of Sam and Zoe – which is filled with cement the next morning.

After Sam continues to struggle with being unable to get one over on Chrissie, she digs up Den’s body in a bid to get Chrissie arrested, but ends up being framed for the murder herself.

Chrissie tries to do deals with gangster Johnny Allen before being confronted by the Mitchell brothers over Sam’s imprisonment.

Under pressure, Chrissie decided to flee with boyfriend Jake Moon, only to be finally caught at the airport by Sharon and the police.

Chrissie was arrested for killing Den and eventually pleaded guilty in court.

Vicki Fowler

Vicki Fowler is the daughter of Den Watts and Michelle Fowler from a controversial teenage pregnancy storyline

Vicki Fowler is the daughter of Den Watts and Michelle Fowler, and was conceived during a controversial storyline about teenage pregnancy.

It was one of EastEnders’ first whodunnit style storylines, as viewers did not initially know who the dad was until the big reveal in episode 66.

Vicki left Walford with mum Michelle in 1995, before returning eight years later with Scarlett Alice Johnson in the role.

Vicki was fundamental in bringing half brother Dennis Rickman to Albert Square, but was horrified when she later discovered Sharon and Dennis were romantically involved.

Aged 18, Vicki began a relationship with her 46-year-old college lecturer Tommy Grant before Chrissie Watts exposes him to be a liar and a cheat.

On Christmas Day 2004, all hell broke loose between the Watts family as previously explained.

At one point, Vicki overhears Den telling Sharon that he would never love Vicki like he loved her, and she decided she could not be around a father like that.

She decided to return to her mum in America, before it was later revealed she had moved to Australia.

The most recent update came last year when it was revealed Vicki was back living in America, as Sharon went to visit her.

Dennis Rickman Jr

Dennis Rickman Jr met a watery end in 2020

Dennis Jr was the son of Dennis Rickman and Sharon Watts.

He was born off-screen after his father was brutally stabbed to death, and spent his first years in America with mum Sharon.

Mother and son arrived in Walford in 2012 with Harry Hickles in the role, before it was recast in 2015, with Bleu Landau taking over.

At this point, Dennis started to play up at school and around other Walford residents when Sharon wasn’t there, with his mum refusing to believe he could behave so badly.

Dennis also ended up in hospital after a drunk Phil Mitchell crashed the car they were in, leading to Dennis needing an operation.

Another storyline saw Dennis blackmail Sharon’s friend Michelle Fowler after he saw her kissing 17-year-old Preston Cooper.

In 2018, Dennis was kidnapped by a gang but was rescued by Keanu Taylor, his mum’s lover.

Then in early 2019, Dennis became involved with a drug-dealing gang, leading to a confrontation with his mum when she finds out, and Dennis punching her in the face.

A year later in February 2020, a furious Ian Beale locked Dennis in a room on the lower deck of a boat as many Walford residents celebrated the Vic winning best pub.

Ian had discovered Dennis was responsible for putting his son in hospital, but after the boat crashed, he raced to rescue Dennis from drowning.

After managing to get Dennis out of the room, they headed up some stairs, but the boat rocked and a wave of water flooded the lower decks.

Ian lost his grip on Dennis and he later died of a cardiac arrest from his injuries.

However, in November 2021, a baby was left on Sharon’s doorstep and it turned out to be her granddaughter Alyssa, after Dennis had a one night stand with Jada Lennox when he was just 13.