Lorraine Stanley has confirmed that she has officially left her role on EastEnders for good, after seven years playing Taylor matriarch Karen.


Karen originally departed Albert Square for Spain last year, alongside partner Mitch Baker (Roger Griffiths), their grandchildren Mack (Isaac Lemonius) and Mia Atkins (Mahalia Malcolm) and Mitch's daughter Bailey Baker (Kara-Leah Fernandes).

But Karen returned in February to demand answers over eldest son Keanu's (Danny Walters) disappearance, suspecting his lover Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) and old enemy Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) of foul play.

After jetting abroad yet again, Karen was eventually visited by daughter Bernie (Clair Norris), who broke the news that Keanu had been found murdered under the floor of the café.

Lorraine Stanley as Karen Taylor. She is wearing a blue shirt and leopard print overall. She is smiling.
Lorraine Stanley as Karen Taylor. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Following Keanu's funeral, Karen went to see his supposed killer, Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo), who accused Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) of falsifying her witness statement against him.

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Karen questioned Linda on this, little knowing that Linda herself actually stabbed Keanu to death to stop him from strangling Sharon. Linda managed to contain her secret, and Bernie and Callum Highway (Tony Clay) convinced Karen that Dean was the guilty culprit after all, and Karen agreed to get out of Walford once more.

Of course, this hasn't stopped Callum from doing some digging and Phil from realising that something doesn't add up – but for Karen, the story is indeed over.

Following the airing of her final scenes on Monday 17th June, Stanley posted an Instagram message paying tribute to the team at EastEnders and expressing her pride in her work on the show.

Karen first appeared in June 2017 as she moved in with five of her six children. During her time in Walford, Karen endured the loss of daughter Chantelle Atkins (Jessica Plummer), who was murdered by her abusive husband Gray (Toby-Alexander Smith).

Gray's downfall gave us some of Stanley's most powerful material, as her alter ego struggled to come to terms with the harrowing truth.

It looks like we've sadly seen the last of Karen; but on-screen, The Six's cover up of the events of Christmas Day continues.

You can read all our latest coverage on this week's EastEnders, which reveals the aftermath of Phil's confrontation with Sharon.

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EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and from 6am on BBC iPlayer.


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