EastEnders actress Tracy-Ann Oberman, who plays Queen Vic landlady Chrissie Watts, is to leave the soap.
Chrissie Watts could return to the soap in the future
Oberman, 35, has been on the cast since April 2004 and will exit the BBC One show later this year.
Her character dealt the blow to kill husband "Dirty" Den and will leave in a "spectacular" storyline, a spokesperson for the show said.
"Tracy-Ann has made a terrific impact as Chrissie Watts and she will be missed," the spokesperson added.
But Chrissie will not be killed off and the door will be left open for her to return.
Oberman said she had "loved" playing the character. "It's rare to find such a strong female character," she said.
"I've made some great friends during my time at EastEnders, and I'm really going to miss all the cast and crew."
Oberman previously had roles in Casualty and Bob Martin, and had been a stand-up comedian and a scriptwriter.