Today we say goodbye to one of the greatest ever stars of UK soap opera EastEnders: June Brown OBE. The actress died on April 3rd 2022 at the grand age of 95, two years after she permanently retired from her role as Dot Cotton.
June had only just landed her OBE in the 2022 New Year Honours, fourteen years after receiving her MBE. She was also the winner of four Inside Soap Awards and three British Soap Awards.
She first appeared in EastEnders in 1985 and held the role of Dot Cotton until 1993, at which point she took a break until 1997. From then on she continued the role until her official retirement in February 2020, with only a six-month break in which she wrote her autobiography Before The Year Dot.
“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,” a spokesperson for EastEnders said in a statement on Twitter.
“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.”
While her most famous role was in EastEnders, she also had roles in a number of films including Bean: The Movie, The Mambo Kings and Margery and Gladys. Among her other TV appearances were Doctor Who, The Duchess of Duke Street, The Bill and Coronation Street. She also performed in a number of theatre productions such as An Inspector Calls, Rebecca, Macbeth and Calendar Girls.
She was married twice; first to John Garley who passed away in 1957, and second to Robert Arnold who passed away in 2003. June lived alone for the subsequent 19 years and is survived by four children and six grandchildren.
"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,” her children said in a statement. “We would kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time."