June Brown, EastEnders Legend Who Played Dot Cotton, Dies Aged 95

"There are not enough words to describe how much June was loved and adored by everyone at EastEnders," the BBC said.
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June Brown, pictured as Dot Cotton, in 1997
June Brown, pictured as Dot Cotton, in 1997
Mirrorpix via Getty Images

EastEnders icon June Brown has died at the age of 95.

The actor was best known to millions as Albert Square’s legendary bible-quoting, chain-smoking character Dot Cotton.

June died at her home in Surrey on Sunday with her family by her side, her children said.

In a statement, an EastEnders spokesperson also 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.”

June with co-stars John Altman, Letitia Dean, Pam St Clement and Jessie Wallace in 2015
June with co-stars John Altman, Letitia Dean, Pam St Clement and Jessie Wallace in 2015
Matt Crossick via PA Wire/PA Images

June joined EastEnders in 1985 and remained with the soap for eight years.

She returned in 1997 and Dot remained on the Square until 2020, making an off-screen exit when the character went to live in Ireland with her grandson.

June announced the bombshell news of her exit with little fanfare, revealing in a podcast interview she was unhappy with Dot’s recent storylines.

During her years in Walford, Dot had a number of big plots, including euthanasia, cancer and homophobia.

The character was famed for her relationship with bad boy son ‘Nasty’ Nick, played by John Altman, as well as her later marriage to Jim Branning, played by John Bardon.

Dot married Jim after he proposed during a trip on the London Eye
Dot married Jim after he proposed during a trip on the London Eye
BBC via PA Wire/PA Images

June won several awards for her portrayal of Dot, including a lifetime achievement honour at the 2005 British Soap Awards, while she was also nominated for the best actress prize at the TV Baftas for her standalone episode of the soap.

In December 2021, June was made an OBE in the New Year Honours for services to drama and to charity, having previously been made an MBE.

Before joining EastEnders, June also had roles in Coronation Street, Doctor Who, Minder and The Bill, as well as costume dramas The Duchess Of Duke Street and Oliver Twist.

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