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Iconic BBC EastEnders Actress and Royal Naval Service Veteran June Brown Dies at 95

Iconic BBC EastEnders Actress and Royal Naval Service Veteran June Brown Dies at 95

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SURREY (CelebrityAccess) – Iconic soap opera actress June Brown, known for playing the chain-smoking Dot Cotton on the EastEnders, died Sunday (April 3) with her family. The cause of death has not been disclosed.

A statement from 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.”

Brown served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRENS) at the end of WWII before leaving to attend the Old Vic Theatre School in Lambeth. While serving, she trained to be an aircraft mechanic and worked as a cinema operator. Her job was to show the films that came from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, reported by The Sun. 

Fresh faced actress June Brown was to become one of the most recognised Soap characters when she landed the role of Dot Cotton - a role she maintained for three decades
June Brown (Photo: Shutterstock)

Devout Christian, hypochondriac, and cigarette-addicted character Dot Cotton, played by Brown since 1985, was recently crowned the greatest soap star of all time. Brown played the titular character for 35 years, ending when she left the show in 2020. In 2008, Brown became the first soap character in TV history to appear alone for an entire episode. In the episode titled “Pretty Baby,” Brown spoke into a tape recorder about her life so that her bedridden TV husband could listen to it.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved June Brown 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 humor will never be forgotten. June created one of the most iconic characters in Dot Cotton, not just in soap but in British television. Having appeared in 2,884 episodes, June’s remarkable performances created some of EastEnders’ finest moments.”

June Brown, right, with Penelope Keith in Margery and Gladys, 2003.
June Brown, right, and Penelope Keith in Margery and Gladys (Photo: Shutterstock)

“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.” – EastEnders spokesperson.

Brown also had roles in Doctor Who, Minder and the Bill, Coronation Street, Oliver Twist, and Duke Street’s Duchess.

Brown is preceded in death by her husband of 45 years, Robert Arnold, who died in 2003. She is survived by five children, Chloe, William, Naomi, Sophie, and Louise.

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