June Brown death: Legendary EastEnders actor who played Dot Cotton dies, aged 95

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June Brown death: Legendary EastEnders actor who played Dot Cotton dies, aged 95
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June Brown, best known for playing Dot Cotton in EastEnders, has died aged 95.

Brown portrayed the chain-smoking character since shortly after the show first aired in 1985.

The news was announced by a spokesperson for the BBC soap, who said: “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.”

Brown announced she had stepped away from the show in 2020, saying that she had been left underwhelmed by her recent storylines.

“I’ve left EastEnders,” Brown said on the Distinct Nostalgia podcast. “I did make up a limerick, but it’s a bit dirty, really. I went back to do a good story. Alas and alack, when I got back it had gone up in smoke.”

Her last appearance on the series occurred in January 2020, when she left a voicemail message for Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) explaining that she had fled Albert Square for Ireland.

Brown was the soap’s longest-running character, despite departing the series from 1992 to 1997, and leaving for six months during 2012 in order to write her autobiography.

June Brown was one of ’EastEnder’s most beloved stars (Getty Images)
June Brown was one of ’EastEnder’s most beloved stars (Getty Images)

Her biggest storylines included her struggles with her son Nasty Nick (John Altman), her marriage with Jim Branning (John Bardon) and the controversial euthanasia storyline with her best friend Ethel Skinner (Gretchen Franklin).

In 2005, Brown received the Lifetime Achievement award at the British Soap Awards and, three years later, was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to drama and charity.

Her other acting credits, which included theatre work, include the films Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and Bean (1997).

In 2009, Brown appeared in a West End production of Calendar Girls at the Noël Coward Theatre, alongside former EastEnders stars Anita Dobson (Angie Watts), Jill Halfpenny (Kate Mitchell) and Jack Ryder (Jamie Mitchell).

Brown was married twice and had six children.

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