EastEnders: Dot Cotton actress June Brown dies aged 95
June Brown was best known for portraying Dot Cotton in EastEnders for 35 years
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EastEnders star June Brown, best known for her role as chain-smoking Dot Cotton, has died at the age of 95, the BBC has announced.
The veteran actress won awards for her portrayal of Dot.
She also had roles in shows such as Coronation Street and Doctor Who during her long career.
When did June Brown die?
An EastEnders spokeswoman said: “We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved June Brown, OBE, MBE, sadly passed away last night.
“There are not enough words to describe how much June was loved and adored by everyone at EastEnders, her loving warmth, wit and great humour will never be forgotten.
“June created one of the most iconic characters in Dot Cotton, not just in soap but in British television, and having appeared in 2,884 episodes, June’s remarkable performances created some of EastEnders’ finest moments.
“We send all our love and deepest sympathies to June’s family and friends. A very bright light has gone out at EastEnders today but we shall all be raising a sweet sherry in June’s memory.
“Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten.”
A statement from Brown’s family said: “We are deeply saddened to announce our beloved mother, June, passed away very peacefully at her home in Surrey on Sunday evening, with her family by her side.
“We would kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”
Who has paid tribute to June Brown?
June’s legacy touched all of her Eastenders co-stars and colleagues, with some sharing their messages of condolences.
Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Beale, said: “I’m truly heartbroken by this news. June Brown OBE, MBE, was an amazing woman and a truly wonderful actress.
“I shared many scenes with her over the years and she was always someone I looked up to and learnt from.
“There will never be another June Brown and I’m sending all my love to her family.”
Adam Woodyatt, who played Ian Beale in the show until 2021, said: “I’m lost for words, something June never was.
“So many memories, so much fun. Just purely and simply an incredible woman who had the most incredible life and career, I was fortunate to have shared a small part of it.
“They never made you a Dame (we did try), but to me you will always be Dame Brown.”
Letitia Dean called June “not just a phenomenal actress but a very dear friend”.
The Sharon Watts actress added: “Oh the fun we have had over the years! I will never stop loving you, THANK YOU for your kindness and your generosity and for loving me the way you did.
Danny Dyer added: “Rest in peace June. So privileged to have graced the screen with ya. An icon in its truest form.”
Chris Clenshaw, Eastenders executive producer said: “When you join EastEnders, there are some characters both on and off screen that are just iconic and June Brown, OBE, MBE is at the top of that list. Her creation and portrayal of Dot Cotton made a huge impact in British television, she created iconic moments that not only entertained the nation but at times changed it a little for the better.
“I had the pleasure of working with June when I was the story producer and when you have the talent such as June Brown to work with, you always knew it was going to be magic. I speak for us all at EastEnders when I say that today is a very sad day as June Brown was a truly special and unforgettable woman. We send our deepest sympathies to June’s family.”
What was she known for during her career?
The actress’s 35-year run as the Albert Square mainstay began in 198 before she left the show in 2020.
The veteran actress, who had a long career in television and theatre, arrived on Albert Square shortly after the soap began in 1985, and aside from a break between 1993 and 1997, was a regular for more than three decades.
On January 31 2008 she single-handedly starred in an episode called Pretty Baby, in which she spoke to a cassette recorder about her life so that her husband could listen to it as he lay in hospital following a stroke.
Brown served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service at the end of the Second World War, and then left to train at London’s Old Vic Theatre School in Lambeth.
Before joining EastEnders she had roles in Coronation Street, Doctor Who, Minder and The Bill, as well as costume dramas The Duchess Of Duke Street and Oliver Twist.
After joining Albert Square she also starred in comedy Ain’t Misbehavin in 1997, and played Nanny Slagg in the BBC’s production of Gormenghast in 2000.
When did she leave EastEnders?
She announced the bombshell news of her exit from EastEnders in 2020 with little fanfare, revealing her decision on a podcast with a former co-star. Brown won several awards for her portrayal of Dot, including a lifetime achievement honour at the 2005 British Soap Awards.
In 2009, she was nominated for the best actress prize at the TV Baftas for her standalone episode of the soap.
In December 2021 Brown was made an OBE in the New Year Honours, as she was recognised for services to drama and to charity.
She was previously made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2008 for services to drama and charity.
This article will continue to be updated