Gretchen Franklin (7 July 1911 – 11 July 2005) was an English actress and dancer with a career in show business spanning over 70 years. She was born in Covent Garden, Central London. She played Ethel Skinner in the long-running BBC 1 soap opera EastEnders on a regular basis from 1985 until 1988. After this she returned to the show intermittently. These appearances became briefer and more widely spaced. Her final appearance was in 2000, when her character was killed off. Gretchen was mysteriously a key theme of the Fall's song Telephone Thing though it is not known why.