EastEnders Elaine stars life – famous sister, stripping off and Harry Potter

Hold on to your pints EastEnders fans because a new era is dawning in the iconic Queen Vic.

Esteemed actress Harriet Thorpe, famed for her theatrical prowess and once gracing the Harry Potter universe, is about to make waves in Walford as Elaine Peacock, the vivacious mother of Linda, and the pub's latest co-owner.

Her appearance is set to send shockwaves through the heart of Albert Square as her arrival brings a slew of new drama, surprises, and a hefty dose of that signature EastEnders grit we all know and love.

READ MORE: EastEnders' Natalie Cassidy's love life with cameraman – 'soulmates' and co-star 'feud

Join us as we delve into the intriguing details of Harriet's actual age, her unyielding fight against breast cancer which saw her strip off to her bra and her surprisingly famous family. Let’s take a closer look…

Famous sister

Actress Harriet comes from a family of talented writers and performers.

Her parents, Edward Thorpe and Gillian Freeman, were both writers, and her sister Matilda is a well-known actress in her own right.

Matilda is perhaps best known for her role as Mandy in the beloved sitcom Desmonds.

But her talents don't stop there – she's also a renowned drama teacher and runs the company Dr Theatre with her sister Harriet, coaching businesses and professionals in the art of public speaking and performance.

Despite both sisters finding success in the entertainment industry, Harriet says that they've always supported each other throughout their careers.

"I had an instinct to perform and my earliest memory was trying to make my sister Matilda laugh," she reveals. "And that feeling was so good it just kept me wanting to do it more."

And while Harriet may be the one in the spotlight on EastEnders, she's quick to acknowledge her sister's accomplishments.

"Matilda has always been an inspiration to me," she says. "Her talent and dedication to the craft of acting are truly admirable."

It's clear that the Thorpe family is a powerhouse of talent, and with both Harriet and Matilda making waves in the entertainment industry

Real age

Harriet may leave some viewers surprised with her real age.

Born in 1957, Harriet is now 65, but her youthful energy and stunning performances continue to captivate audiences.

Despite being a seasoned actress with decades of experience in the entertainment industry, Harriet's age often comes as a shock to those who see her on screen.

But she doesn't let that stop her from giving it her all in every role she takes on.

In fact, Harriet sees her age as an advantage rather than a hindrance.

Speaking to honestmum, she was asked about her greatest achievement, revealing: "Being able to work for thirty years and knowing that there is no age in which I need to change careers.”

She also admits to now needing glasses and carrying around painkillers.

“I always carry painkillers (ha ha). Having trained as a dancer at The Royal Ballet School means I’ve always had to work through the pain. You’re often in pain when you’re dancing but it doesn’t mean you stop dancing.

“I also wear glasses now and have three pretty pairs, those cheap magnifying ones which are £4 a pair. I couldn’t live without them.”

Stripping off

The talented star has always been passionate about raising awareness for breast cancer and once stripped off to her bra to raise money for the cause.

Her mother, Gillian Freeman, was a breast cancer survivor, and Harriet has continued her legacy by becoming an ambassador for Walk the Walk, a charity that raises money for breast cancer research and support.

And Harriet isn't afraid to put her money where her mouth is – or in this case, her bra!

During one charity event, the actress stripped down to her bra and joined 17,000 other participants for a half-marathon walk.

"I just said yes, absolutely, that sounds fantastic," Harriet said to on the charity’s officials website of her decision to become and ambassador for the organisation.

"That’s how we started doing The MoonWalk – we walked the first one and were hooked!"

Harriet's passion for the cause is contagious, and she's inspired countless others to get involved with Walk the Walk.

"Every person that I’ve ever known and worked with, if possible, I’ve made do The MoonWalk! All the kids from Mamma Mia, Jen Saunders first took part with her youngest daughter and with my daughter too. We had a wonderful time."

But Harriet's commitment to the cause goes beyond just walking – she's also the founder of the Jen and Harriet's Big Tits team, named in honour of her friend Jennifer Saunders, who battled breast cancer herself.

Together, they've raised thousands of pounds for breast cancer research and support.

Harry Potter role

The talented star has made appearances in several popular television shows and movies. But fans may not know that she once had a role in a Harry Potter movie.

Although Harriet did not appear in the final cut of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, she did have a minor role as Wakanda in a deleted scene from the film.

The star even bragged about the role on Twitter back in 2019 as she reminisced on her brief role in the franchise, telling fans: “Wakanda (the witch) Forever it was such a joy to work with the gorgeous #HarryPotter team on Deathly Hallows. How was this 10 years ago? #MorestoriespleaseJK #TeamHufflepuff.”

She shared the caption alongside a snap of her with her cast mates, including Ron Weasley actor Rupert Grint and his on-screen dad, Arthur Weasley, played by actor Mark Williams.

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