Letitia Dean - things you didn't know about the EastEnders legend

EastEnders Letitia Dean aka Sharon Mitchell
(Image credit: BBC/Kieron McCarron)

From releasing UK chart singles to secret skinny dipping, there is lots to learn about Letitia Dean...

As one of the few remaining original cast members in EastEnders, Letitia Dean has already cemented herself as soap royalty thanks to her role as Walford's Sharon Watts.

There's no romance drama or family feud that Sharon hasn't found herself caught up in over the last 35 years, and with Den (Leslie Grantham) and Angie Watts (Anita Dobson) as her adoptive parents, it's easy to see why.

Over the years the nation has taken Sharon into their hearts, but while Letitia has become a household name thanks to her iconic role in EastEnders, there is plenty more to the actress than Sharon's legendary miniskirts.

Most fans of the actress will know that:

  • Letitia is a soap icon after playing Sharon for more than three decades
  • She has appeared in Casualty and Doctors
  • She's great friends with co-star Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale

But what else do we know about Letitia Dean? Here are several things you probably don't know...

EastEnders wasn't her first TV role 

Letitia Dean Sharon Watts

Letitia's character, Sharon Watts has gone from moody teen to Walford icon (Picture: Getty) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Before being catapulted to fame by EastEnders, Letitia started her TV career as Lucinda Oliver on Grange Hill in 1983 and also appeared as Dawn in Brookside in 1984. During a break from EastEnders in 1996, Letitia starred in The Hello Girls, a BBC comedy drama that followed the lives of switchboard operators in the 1960s. Letitia played the main role of Chris Cross.

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She's a great dancer


In 2007 Letitia appeared in Strictly Come Dancing, wowing the audience and judges with her fancy footwork. She was paired with professional dancer Darren Bennett and the pair made it to the quarter finals. Letitia also appeared in the 2008 Strictly Come Dancing UK arena tour competing against Fellow EastEnders stars Louisa Lytton and Matt Di Angelo.

Letitia Dean is a pantomime star

Eastenders Star Letitia Dean

Letitia enjoys doing pantomime each Christmas (Picture: Getty) (Image credit: UK Press via Getty Images)

Along with her EastEnders co-star Steve McFadden (better known to soap fans as the legendary Phil Mitchell) Letitia annually appears in pantomimes. She has played everything from Snow White and faith godmothers to wicked witches, appearing in theatres across the country.

More: Things you didn't know about EastEnders star Kellie Bright 

She's had a music chart hit

Back in 1986 Letitia's EastEnders storyline saw her character, Sharon, join a band called The Banned. While on screen the band were considered a failure, in real life the BBC released one of the fictional band's songs called Something Outta Nothing and it reached number 12 the UK chart.

She's a success on stage as well as on TV

Eastenders Star Letitia Dean

Letitia loves to tread the boards and has appeared in various hit theatre productions (Picture: PA) (Image credit: PA)

Among Letitia's numerous stage credits she appeared as Ms Darbus in High School Musical in London's West End in 2008, and the following year she joined the cast of Calendar Girls playing Cora, who is Miss July.

More: Things you didn't know about EastEnders star Danny Dyer 

She's surprisingly quite shy

We might have watched Letitia grow up on screen as from moody teenage Sharon into a Walford icon, but in real life the actress is surprisingly shy. Speaking to Stacey Dooley in EastEnders spin off Secrets From The Square, Letitia admitted: "I'm a lot shier than my character, really. When I go home I just get my wellies on and talk to my vegetables! I'm much more low-key."

She's been skinny dipping with an EastEnders co-star


Letitia's EastEnders co-star June Brown once admitted on TV game show 'Would I Lie To You' that the pair of them had once been skinny dipping when on holiday in Greece. While no one believed June on the TV show and thought she was fibbing, it turns out the claim was entirely true!

Letitia Dean's Fact File 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actress....

How old is she?

Letitia Dean's age is 52. She was born on 14 November 1967.

Is she in a relationship?

Letitia Dean married actor Jason Pethers in 2002 but the couple have since split.

Does she have kids?

Letitia Dean doesn't have any children.

Where was she born?

Letitia Dean was born in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.

How tall is she?

Letitia Dean is 1.6 metres tall.


We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Main picture credit: BBC

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.