(born Stephen Reid
on 20 March 1959) is an English actor
, known for his role as Phil Mitchell
in the BBC soap opera EastEnders
, which he has played since 1990.
McFadden was born Stephen Reid in the Maida Vale
area of London
on 20 March 1959, the only child of Robert and Barbara Reid. His parents separated soon afterwards and his mother later married a man called John McFadden, from who McFadden took his surname.
He left school in 1975 and over the next few years had short stints in jobs including labouring, carrot picking, plumbing and working at a builder's merchants. None of these occupations gave him much satisfaction, so he decided to sell his motorbike and hitch-hike around Europe
. He spent several months camping out in Montpellier
, on land earmarked for development as a football stadium
. He then returned to London and felt that the city was too repressive for his liking, so he went to a Job Centre
and asked for a job "with a meaning".
McFadden's first job after his return to London was on the "Acorn Project", a scheme for blind people which involved attending college. He gained 'O' and 'A' Level passes in Sociology
before enrolling at North London Polytechnic University on an Economics
course. Just seven weeks after starting, he decided that the course was not for him, and withdrew himself from university. He decided that he wanted to become an actor, got accepted into RADA
in 1984, and in... Read More