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Steve McFadden (born Steve Robert Reid on 20 March 1959) is an English actor, best known for his role as hardman Phil Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, which he has played since 1990. He was also the presenter of fighting series Britain's Hardest.

Biography[edit]Edit

Early life[edit]Edit

McFadden was born Steve Reid in the Maida Vale area of London on 20 March 1959, the only child of Robert and Barbara Mallet Reid. His parents separated soon afterwards and his mother later married a man called John McFadden, from whom McFadden took his surname.

He left school in 1975 and over the next few years had short stints in jobs including labouring, carrot picking, plumbing and working at a builder's merchant. None of these occupations gave him much satisfaction, so he decided to sell his motorbike and hitch-hike around Europe. He spent several months camping out in MontpellierFrance, on land earmarked for development as a football stadium. He then returned to London and felt that the city was too repressive for his liking, so he went to a Job Centre and asked for a job "with a meaning".

McFadden's first job after his return to London was on the "Acorn Project", a scheme for blind people which involved attending college. He gained 'O' and 'A' Level passes in Sociology andPolitics before enrolling at North London Polytechnic University on an Economics course. Just seven weeks after starting, he decided that the course was not for him, and withdrew himself from university. He decided that he wanted to become an actor, got accepted into RADA in 1984, and in his first year there won a prize for creating his own drama piece called "Best Fight" - which included many characters who were based on his own friends from school.

Career[edit]Edit

After graduating from RADA in 1987[2] he made his acting debut playing a small role in the 1988 television film The Firm. That same year he had an uncredited brief appearance in the filmBuster as a gang member. This was followed by appearances in the television series The BillMinder and Bergerac.

McFadden then became famous for playing 'hard man' Phil Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. He joined EastEnders at the beginning of 1990, at the same time as Ross Kemp, who played Phil's younger brother Grant Mitchell. During that time, his character has been involved in numerous ratings-pulling storylines such as Sharongate (where it was revealed that he had an affair with his brother's wife Sharon) in 1994, and the most notable Who Shot Phil?storyline in March 2001 where his character was shot and wounded by a mystery attacker. The identity of the attacker was revealed weeks later as Phil's girlfriend Lisa, played by Lucy Benjamin - McFadden's real-life girlfriend at the time.

McFadden made a brief appearance in the film Kevin & Perry Go Large in 2000 and starred in an episode of the BBC One anthology series Murder in Mind in 2001. He left EastEnders in late 2003 for a one-year break to concentrate onpantomimes. His character was written out of the series after being framed for an armed robbery by Den Watts (played by Leslie Grantham), and going on the run after breaking out of prison. During his break from EastEnders he presented the reality television fighting series Britain's Hardest which was an underground competition aired on Sky One. He returned to EastEnders for two episodes in April 2005. In the story, Phil returned to Walford in need of financial help, only to be arrested and returned to prison. In October 2005 he returned on a permanent basis, after his character was cleared of armed robbery after Grant used money to influence witnesses to change their testimony. As of 2013he is still in the series and is now one of the longest serving members of its cast.

In 2007 he appeared in the fact-based film Provoked. He has also appeared in pantomime in 2010/11 at the High Wycombe Swan theatre in Peter Pan playing Captain Hook. In 2012/2013 he appeared at the Orchard theatre Dartford in Aladdin playing Abanazar with a supporting cast including around 16 children who attend The Liz Burville Performing Arts Centre, Old Bexley Kent.

Awards[edit]Edit

Personal life[edit]Edit

McFadden has four children. His son Matt McFadden's mother is Sue Marshall, and Angela Bostock is the mother of his daughters Teona and Mollie Jane. Rachel Sidwell gave birth to his daughter Amelie Tinkerbell on 29 June 2009.[3][4] At the time she was his partner, but the couple split two months later.[5]

McFadden is a supporter of Manchester United. He is also a keen sailor[6] and took part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in his motorboat 'Barbara'.[7][8]

Filmography[edit]Edit

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