Susan Tully played the role of Michelle Fowler on EastEnders for over a decade. However, these days, the 56-year-old actress looks completely different and has pursued a different career.

29 years have passed since her departure from the show, and she looks worlds away from her character.

Michelle was a teenager when Tully joined the BBC soap in 1985, and she played the role for 10 years before the character emigrated to Alabama.

The star was involved in many significant storylines during her time as Michelle. One of the most notable was her discovery that she was pregnant at the age of 16 with Den Watts’ baby, who was the adoptive father of her best friend Sharon Mitchell.

Michelle returned to Albert Square in 2016, but Susan chose not to return and handed the reins to Jenna Russell, who played the character for over a year.

The original Michelle actress looks unrecognizable now that she has chopped her trademark locks into a straight bob.

She has also closed the door on her acting career and has instead become a high-profile director.

Her move has been incredibly successful, as she has worked on several programs, including Secret Diary of a Call Girl, BBC’s Silent Witness, Stella, and more recently, Strike.

Millions have watched her work as she directed two episodes of the BBC police drama Line of Duty and the ITV thriller Too Close.

Although fans longed for the TV star to reprise her iconic role, Susan has clarified that acting is no longer in her future.

In 2016, when the decision was made to bring Michelle back, then-executive director Sean O’Connor confirmed that Susan gave them her blessing to move on without her.

Sean explained that if Michelle Fowler were to be brought back, it would be necessary to speak with Susan Tully.

However, Tully is now a well-respected and experienced TV director, and her acting career is behind her.

Sean contacted her immediately upon considering bringing the character back. I ensured that Susan approved the idea, which was delightful when she did.