EastEnders actress June Brown who played Dot Cotton has died aged 95

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  • EastEnders actress June Brown who played the legendary Dot Cotton in the BBC One soap has died aged 95.

    June played the character of Dorothy Cotton for more than three decades to become one of the BBC One soap’s longest running characters and was a fan favourite – having joined the soap back in 1985 when it was first created.

    Her family said they were “deeply saddened” to announce that their “beloved mother” had died “very peacefully” at her home on Sunday.

    A statement from June Brown’s family reads, “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.”

    In paying tribute to June, who was a British icon, an EastEnders spokesperson added, “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 2884 episodes, June’s remarkable performances created some of EastEnders finest moments.”

    EastEnders has uploaded a tribute to its Instagram and within it, it reveals June starred in an impressive 2884 episodes.

    June Brown Eastenders stars John Altman (Nick Cotton), Rossi Higgins (Ashley Cotton) and June Brown (Dot Cotton). 16th July 1993. (Photo by Mike Maloney/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

    Credit: Getty

    June appeared regularly in the soap until 1993 and then returned to screens in 1997 to reprise her role as Dot until 2020.

    Tributes have started pouring in for the star from co-stars and fans alike.

    Gillian Taylforth, who played Kathy Beale in the soap, 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.”

    Letitia Dean, who plays Sharon Mitchell, said, “My beloved June, I truly loved you. Not just a phenomenal actress but a very dear friend. 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.”

    Milly Zero, who plays on-screen granddaughter Dotty Cotton, wrote, “Rest in perfect peace ‘Grandma Dot’. I have never met anyone who cared about their craft so deeply. An artist, a national treasure, an icon & an inspiration to us all. You will always live on in the hearts of everybody you touched. There will never be anyone quite like June.”

    I’m A Celebrity star Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale, 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.”

    June was a dear friend of the late Barbara Windsor who died aged 83, following a battle with Dementia. At the time June described her emotional last meeting with Barbara and said, “she’ll always be alive in my mind”.

    Barbara Windsor and June Brown LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: (L) Barbara Windsor and June Brown pose at the TRIC Awards 2017 at The Grosvenor House Hotel on March 14, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

    Credit: Getty

    Fans took to social media to share their kind words and tributes after June’s passing was announced.

    One fan tweeted, “So sad and broken to hear June has lived such a beautiful life and had the most admirable acting career and some of the loveliest, historic and memorable scenes on #EastEnders. Rest in peace our dear Dot.”

    Another wrote, “I’m sorry to hear this, She was a big part of the show and I hope she gets an amazing send off not just an end title card. She will be missed.”

    And a third added, “What a fantastic person June Brown was. Lived a life and a half and brought joy and love to anyone who mer her, worked with her or saw her work. Best bits of telly ever was Dot and Ethel’s two-hander. Like a Beckett or Pinter half hour play. With two brilliant actresses.”

    One of June’s most moving and controversial moments came when Dot’s close friend Ethel, who was terminally ill, asked her to help her take an overdose of morphine to end her life. She wrestled with her Christian beliefs but left out morphine pills for Ethel to use.

    The BBC filmed a TV special of June Brown at 90: A Walford Legend, which gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at the star in action to mark her 90th birthday.

    Further details about June’s death or funeral arrangements have not yet been revealed.