Irish EastEnders actor Melanie Clark Pullen dies aged 46

Bray native best known for role in the soap in the 1990s had been diagnosed with cancer

Irish actor Melanie Clark Pullen, best known for her role in EastEnders, has died aged 46.

Born in Bray, Co Wicklow, Clark Pullen had been diagnosed with cancer.

As Mary Flaherty, the great-niece of EastEnders' matriarch Pauline Fowler, she appeared in more than 130 episodes of the BBC soap opera between 1997 and 1999.

Along with EastEnders, she also appeared in RTÉ's Fair City, The Clinic, Raw, and The Big Bow Wow.

She also featured in the film Ordinary Love, starring Liam Neeson, and Aisling Bea's comedy series This Way Up.

She was also the presenter of her own podcast, Strut and Bellow, and was also a writer and producer.

She is survived by her husband Simon and three children.

Paying tribute, the Eastenders Twitter account said: “We’re deeply saddened to hear that Melanie Clark Pullen has passed away. Our love and thoughts are with Melanie’s family and friends.”

Broadcaster Maia Dunphy also paid tribute, tweeting: "Our funny, beautiful, eccentric, creative Goddess Melanie Clark Pullen is gone".

Ms Dunphy described her as a "force of nature", adding "your words and your babies live on".