EastEnders' June Brown dies: Tributes pour in for 'national treasure'

Watch: EastEnders stalwart June Brown, best known as Dot Cotton, dies at 95

EastEnders legend June Brown has died aged 95.

The actor, best known for playing Dot Cotton in the soap for over 30 years, died on 3 April at her home in Surrey, her family said in a statement.

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"

Read More: EastEnders legend June Brown, who played Dot Cotton, dies aged 95

An EastEnders spokesperson paid tribute to Brown: "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."

Dot Cotton, played by June Brown, in EastEnders. (Getty Images)
Dot Cotton, played by June Brown, in EastEnders. (Getty Images)

Long-time co-star Gillian Taylforth who played Kathy Beale paid tribute to Brown with a statement of her own, which 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 joined EastEnders the same year as Brown in 1985, 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."

Actor Nick Nevern, who briefly appeared in EastEnders in 2008 but is better known for his roles in Bulletproof, The Sweeney and Brotherhood, tweeted: "RIP June Brown. Dot Cotton was an icon of British television and a character that will no doubt live on for ever. Rest easy."

TV presenter Fern Britton also paid tribute on social media: "June Brown! What an amazing woman and mother. I loved her."

UNSPECIFIED, ENGLAND: June Brown as Dot Cotton during a special episode of Eastenders broadcast on March 16, 2001 as part of Red Nose 2001 campaign. (Photo by BBC/Comic Relief via Getty Images)
June Brown as Dot Cotton during a special episode of Eastenders. (Comic Relief via Getty Images)

Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter: "RIP June Brown, 95. A wonderfully talented actress whose long-time portrayal of irascible fag-puffing Dot Cotton in EastEnders was one of the all-time great performances in British Television. June was such a funny, feisty, fabulous lady off screen too. Very sad news."

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries also tweeted a tribute to Brown: "There was nobody quite like June Brown. She captured the zeitgeist of British culture like no other in her many years on our screens. Today we’ve lost a true national treasure but my goodness what a life she has led. Rest in peace."

Dot Branning (JUNE BROWN), Dotty Cotton (MILLY ZERO) (BBC / Jack Barnes)
Dot Branning (JUNE BROWN), Dotty Cotton (MILLY ZERO) (BBC / Jack Barnes)

John Altman, who played her on-screen son Nick, said: "I shall miss my dear, dear friend. A legendary lady, a wonderful soul."

Former EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami also posted: "Super-professional. Always brilliant. True legend. RIP June."

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 27:  Actress June Brown poses backstage during the
June Brown poses backstage during the "Inside Soap Awards Party", 2004. (Getty Images)

Milly Zero, who currently plays Dot's granddaughter in the soap, paid tribute with a tweet: "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."

Emma Barton, who plays Honey Mitchell in the show, also said: "Darling June. Irreplaceable You."

The Queen during her visit, to Elstree Studios where the famous British soap EastEnders is filmed. The Queen was accompanied by long standing cast member Barbara Windsor, who plays Peggy Mitchell and she met in the make up room June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton.   (Photo by Fiona Hanson - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
June Brown and Barbara Windsor meet the Queen at Elstree Studios. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Brown first appeared in EastEnders in 1985 and originally played Cotton until 1993. She later returned to the soap in 1997 and continued to play the character until 2020.

In 2009, Brown was nominated for a Bafta for Best Actress, becoming only the second soap star to be nominated.

Over her long career, Brown also appeared in shows such as Doctor Who, Coronation Street and The Bill.