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David Timothy Scarboro[1] (February 3, 1968 – April 27, 1988) was a British actor who was best known for portraying Mark Fowler in the popular British soap opera EastEnders.

Contents

Career

Early career

David made his acting debut in a little-known television film titled Good Neighbours which aired in 1984. The following year, he appeared as an extra in Series 7 of the school drama series Grange Hill.

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EastEnders

David Scarboro as Mark Fowler.

From its inception in February 1985 until April of that same year, Scarboro played the part of Mark Fowler in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. The actor did not respond well to the sudden fame the role brought him, and later became very concerned when the writers decided that the character of Mark should become a racist.

Things came to a head one day when the script called for a scene where Mark was to deliver racist abuse to Paul J. Medford's character, Kelvin Carpenter; Scarboro firmly refused to play the scene; it was decided that he should leave the show.

In December 1985, he briefly returned to the series in a special storyline where Mark was reunited with his parents, who had travelled to visit him in Southend-on-Sea where he had settled with an older woman who had children from an earlier relationship. Scarboro later returned for brief stints in 1986 and 1987, but never returned to the series on a permanent or on-going basis. Scarboro's last appearance in the series was on Christmas Day, 1987.

Media intrusion and suicide

Elements of the UK tabloid press reported that Scarboro had been fired from the show for turning up late for filming and being uncooperative on set. Away from the series Scarboro initiated libel proceedings after several national papers published inaccurate stories about his private life, but the press continued to pursue him and his family. The News of the World discovered that Scarboro was in a psychiatric unit, and published photographs of the place. Scarboro subsequently left the unit because he could no longer get adequate treatment, and inaccurate stories about his condition were being published.

He committed suicide in 1988[2] by throwing himself from Beachy Head. A documentary on his life was produced by the BBC in 1988 titled My Brother David and was presented by his brother Simon. His parents left the country soon after their son's death.

The role of Mark Fowler was subsequently taken by Todd Carty in 1990 and continued in EastEnders as a regular character until 2003.

References

  • My Brother David, a film presented by David's brother Simon and produced by Roger Tonge for BBC TV

External links


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