Disa O'Brien was a troubled character who first appeared in EastEnders in 1990. She is one of a number of former characters making a return to the soap especially for the funeral of Dot Branning (June Brown).


Dot offered help to Disa when she most needed it, so it makes sense to see her head back to Walford to pay her respects. But who was Disa, and what was her story?

Read on as we take a trip down memory lane ahead of the character's comeback.

Who was Disa O'Brien and who played her?

Disa O'Brien in EastEnders
Jan Graveson as Disa O'Brien in EastEnders.

Disa was played by Jan Graveson. She first appeared in EastEnders when Diane Butcher (Sophie Lawrence) fled to live on the streets. Disa helped vulnerable Diane survive, but it transpired that she was rather vulnerable herself. She had run away from home and remained on the streets long after Diane did, selling herself for sex.

After becoming pregnant, Disa bumped into Diane and Mark Fowler (Todd Carty) just before her baby was due. Giving birth alone, Disa then left her baby girl in a cardboard box on the doorstep of the Butchers' home.

Diane and Mark found Disa and gave her shelter, hoping she could bond with the baby she eventually named Jasmine.

What happened to Disa O'Brien in EastEnders?

Dot began to look after Jasmine when Disa wouldn't or couldn't, and when she let Ken Raynor (Ian Redford) into the house, viewers learned Disa's secret. He was her abusive stepfather and the father of Jasmine, and the reason she ended up on the streets.

Ken kidnapped the baby to try and regain control of Disa, but Dot and the police managed to trap him and he was finally arrested. In the present, Disa will no doubt be feeling grateful for Dot's intervention, as it changed the course of her life.

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Disa confided in Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), and was able to tell her mother the awful truth. This allowed her to make a fresh start, and Disa took Jasmine away to start a new life. She hasn't been seen since, but viewers will see her reunited with Kathy at Dot's funeral.

Speaking about working with late star Brown, actress Graveson said: "I went into it in ‘89 for the two special episodes with Diane Butcher. After that, production called me again and said, ‘Would you like to come back nine months later, fully pregnant and delivering your baby on the doorstep of The Vic?’ I thought, ‘Why not?!’

"I had told June that they were bringing me back, and she said, ‘Oh fabulous, darling,’ and I said, ‘I’ve got to give birth on the doorstep of The Vic. How am I going to do it?’ And she went, ‘Oh, just make some noises, darling.’"

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