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Jessie Wallace is best known for her character Kat Moon (nee Slater) who was a hit with EastEnders viewers since her first appearance on the soap on 18 September 2000 up until the end of 2005.
Leaving school at 15, Jessie Wallace had a variety of jobs until at 21, she took a City and Guilds in theatrical make-up.
Amongst those Jessie Wallace did make-up for was fellow EastEnders star, Nigel Harman.
When she was a Make-Up Artist at the Royal Shakespeare Company Jessie Wallace met Iain Glenn, who encouraged her in her desire to take up acting.
And so Jessie Wallace gave up her make-up job to study drama at the Poor School in London. She took a variety of part-time jobs to support herself including being a barmaid at The Royal Oak in Loughton, Essex.
Jessie Wallace won a variety of awards for her role as Kat in EastEnders, including sharing the Inside Soap 2004 award for the best couple with Shane Richie (as Kat and Alfie Moon).
Meanwhile, Jessie also became a tabloid regular. Some of the revelations were due to a former trusted friend, Bruce Ettridge, selling details of her life.
After finishing her three-year affair with convicted fraudster Paul Whitworth, Jessie Wallace had a brief romance with Andy Burton, who also ended up selling his story.
Jessie also appeared to have the odd temper tantrum and was briefly suspended by EastEnders. The Jessie Wallace Story from the Daily Mirror provides a detailed account of Jessie's contretemps.
When Jessie Wallace faced charges for drink-driving it fell to PC Dave Morgan to shield her from waiting photographers outside court. A relationship between them briefly flourished and together they had a daughter Tallulah Lilac, however Jessie Wallace ended her relationship with Morgan in April 2005.
A year later The Sun reported Dave Morgan as saying:
"I used to love Jessie — now I hate her. She is the mother of my child but after what she put me through there is nothing left between us."
He also claimed that Jessie Wallace compared cocaine to After Eight mints.
Jessie Wallace owns a dog called Bailey and a cat called Elvis. Her heroine is Joan Collins, although her mother, Annette told Sunday magazine that she thought Jessie was inspired by the likes of Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth and Jane Russell.
On December 3, 2005 the Sun's front page reported that "EastEnders Jessie Wallace is romancing co-star Joel Beckett [who plays Jake Moon, Alfie's cousin in the soap]."
However, it proved a brief romance. The News of the World revealed on 29 October 2006 how, after Joel Beckett, Jessie Wallace dated Mark Stannett and then 'pot-bellied builder' Chris Osborn, but that broke up too.
2006 and 2007 saw Jessie Wallace diversify her acting roles. She played single mother Candy in the one-off film A Class Apart and was cast as the lead actress in an 80-minute film drama for BBC Four, entitled Miss Marie Lloyd: The Queen of the Music Hall.
In December 2007, Jessie Wallace returned from South Africa where she had been filming Wild at Heart and started rehearsing Rent to take over the role from Denise van Outen in the Duke of York Theatre.
Around the time of filming A Class Apart, Jessie Wallace turned down £1m to write her autobiography.
Jessie Wallace on the Web
Jessie Wallace getting 'incredible' storylines | The List Shane Richie has revealed that there will be some "incredible" storylines when Jessie Wallace returns. The actor - who plays Alfie in 'EastEnders' - has been without his wife Kat, played by Jessie, since earlier this year, when ...
Jessie Wallace cancels wedding at last minute after Vince Morse's ... Actress's fiancé Vince allegedly sent X-rated snap of Jessie to Karen Short.