EastEnders legend June Brown

EastEnders legend June Brown – famed for playing Dot Cotton – dies aged 95

The actress will be forever remembered for her iconic soap role

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EastEnders legend June Brown has sadly died at the age of 95. 

The actress, who played the iconic Dot Cotton in the soap, died on Sunday night, a statement from EastEnders read.

It continued: “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 Brown dies aged 95

“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.

“We send all our love and deepest sympathies to June’s family and friends.

“A very bright light has gone out at EastEnders today – we shall all be raising a sweet sherry in June’s memory.

“Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten.”

The actress is one of the most defining stars of the BBC soap as Dot Cotton, and one of the original cast members. 

June Brown
June Brown has died, EastEnders has confirmed (Credit: SplashNews.com)

June Brown: An East End Legend 

Born February 16, 1927, June was one of her parents’ five children. 

Sadly, two of her siblings would die young – brother John Peter died in 1932 at just 15 days old, and her older sister Marise died aged eight from meningitis in 1934. 

During World War II, June was evacuated and spent time in Carmarthenshire, Wales. 

June’s career in the spotlight didn’t fully take off until 1970, and in that same year she made a short-lived appearance in Coronation Street

In 1973, she appeared alongside John Pertwee’s Third Doctor Who as Lady Eleanor for The Time Warrior. 

She would later get roles in The Bill, Minder, The Duchess of Duke Street and The Sweeney. 

In 1985, Leslie Grantham, famed for playing ‘Dirty’ Den Watts in EastEnders, recommended June to play Dot Cotton. 

Dot would become one of the most beloved characters of the entire Square, famed for chain-smoking, devoted Christian lifestyle and complicated relationship with her criminal son, Nick. 

June took a break from the role in 1993, but returned in 1997. In 2012, she took another six month hiatus in order to write her biography, Before The Year Dot. 

In February 2020, June retired at the age of 93, with Dot moving to Ireland to start a new life. 

Dot Cotton - aka June Brown - on EastEnders
The actress will be forever beloved as Dot Cotton (Credit: BBC)

June Brown: Personal Life 

June was married twice in her life. 

She married John Garley in 1950, at the age of 23. They were together for seven years before Garley tragically died by suicide in 1957. 

Meanwhile, in 1958, she married Robert Arnold, and the pair remained together for the rest of his life. He died in 2003 from Lewy-body dementia – a variation of the disease that affects your cognitive function and behaviour. 

June and Robert raised five children – four daughters and a son – named Chloe, Louise, Naomi, Sophie and William. 

The pair had a sixth child who sadly died as an infant. 

Behind the scenes as Dot Cotton - June Brown at 90: A Walford Legend - Preview - BBC One

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Tilly Pearce
Contributing TV writer

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