Appearing on EastEnders can be the stepping stone for a successful television career.
Many actors and actresses who have graced Albert Square, go on to star in a plethora of gigs from screen to stage.
Kara Tointon did exactly that after playing Walford’s own heartbreaker, Dawn Swann, who had numerous loves and even a spicy affair with hardman Phil Mitchell.
Since then, the star has been up to a lot more including her latest role playing The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
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Kara played Dawn on EastEnders for four years
The 38-year-old first appeared on the soap as an extra, playing the role of Sonia Fowler’s school friend in 1994.
But it wasn’t until 2005 that Kara came back as an official character, playing the daughter of the troublesome Rosie and Mike Miller.
In typical soap star fashion, the actress went on to date her co-star, Joe Swash who played her brother Mickey Miller.
Much like her on screen character, the Basildon born actress has had her fair share of romances and has dated some notable names in and out of Walford.
Kara as Albert Square heartbreaker Dawn Swann
Before entering a relationship with Joe, who is now engaged to Loose Women’s Stacey Solomon, Kara dated another on screen actor.
The soap star shared a romantic relationship with James Alexandrou who played Martin Fowler in the E20 based show for a year before the pair split.
The 38 year-old then moved on with guitarist James Bourne, one third of the pop rock band -Busted.
Eventually, Kara made it official with Joe, in what was said to be an explosive relationship.
Sisters Kara and Hannah Tointon look very different to their soap star days back in the early noughties
(Image: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
The actress left Eastenders in dramatic fashion after her affair with Phil Mitchel was exposed to Garry whom she was to marry.
Fortunately Garry forgave the bombshell and the pair along with Kara’s baby Summer, left The Square on a boat down the local canal in 2009.
Since then, the Essex girl has appeared in numerous shows and stage productions, including one alongside her then boyfriend Joe Swash.
The pair acted together in a Snow White pantomime at Bristol’s Hippodrome in 2009 before rumoured rows backstage broke the couple.
The on-screen siblings dated for two years in real life
(Image: Ambassadors Theatre Group)
Kara had hoped to marry her co-star but managed to bounce back from the heartbreak by finding love on Strictly Come Dancing.
The actress joined the Strictly line-up in 2010 where she met hunky dancer Artem Chigvintsev till they split after four years, as Kara told The Telegraph she wanted to focus on her upcoming role.
Ever determined to move on from the break up and onwards with her career, the ambitious actress went on to star in the period drama, Mr Selfridge.
From 2015 to 2016, she played the role of Rosalie De Bolotoff, the daughter of Harry Selfridge.
Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev
Kara has appeared in numerous TV shows throughout her career and her latest role will see her portray an eminent royal.
In The Windsors: Endgame, Kara plays Kate Middleton in the satire about the Monarchy at the Prince of Wales theatre in the West End.
Speaking to OK!, Kara gave an insight into the play and what audiences could expect.
Kara said: “The royals meets Dallas on speed. It’s that thing of wanting to know what goes on behind closed doors, and maybe this play is the closest thing to finding out what really happens behind the scenes.”
Outside of acting, it appears that the thespian has found her happily ever with someone not famous.
The star attended the premiere of The Happy Prince in London, along with her chiropractor beau, Marius Jensen in 2018.
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After being spotted wearing a sparkly ring on her left hand, she did not confirm when asked whether she was in fact engaged.
The couple share two children together, Frey, 2 and Helly who was born earlier this year (2021) are often featured on Kara’s Instagram page.
Their youngest child Helly holds a Norwegian name in an ode to Marius’ native roots.
Kara has come a long way since her EastEnders days but doesn’t rule out a return to the show as she told The Sun “never say never”.
Until then, the mum of two has her hands full with a new play and a new baby.