EastEnders' Dot Cotton, June Brown, dies aged 95

The EastEnders actress and national treasure passed away last night with her family by her side

Eastenders' Dot Cotton, June Brown, dies aged 95
(Image credit: Getty)

June Brown, who starred as Dot Cotton on the BBC soap, EastEnders, has passed away at the age of 95. 

The English actress was in the company of her family when she died at her Surrey home on the evening of April 3. June played the iconic Dot Cotton on the popular TV show for 35 years, having first joined the cast in 1985. Her last appearance occurred on 21 January, 2020. 

A statement released by the BBC today said: "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 humor 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 2,884 episodes, June's remarkable performances created some of EastEnders' finest moments."

Dot Cotton

June Brown played Dot Cotton on Eastenders for 35 years

(Image credit: Getty)

"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."

June's family has asked for privacy at this difficult time. The Suffolk-born TV star is survived by her five adult children, William, Naomi, Louise, Chloe, and Sophie. Her second husband, Robert Arnold, passed away in 2003. 

Tributes for June have already started pouring in, with several members of the EastEnders cast taking to the Internet to share their reactions. 

Milly Zero, who played Dot's granddaughter, Dotty Cotton, hailed June as "an artist, a national treasure, an icon & an inspiration to us all" in a touching post on Twitter this afternoon. 

Her heartwarming message was echoed by Adam Woodyatt, who played Ian Beale on the soap until last year. 

"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," he said. "They never made you a Dame (we did try), but to me you will always be Dame Brown."

Gillian Taylforth, the actress who plays Ian Beale's mother, Kathy Beale, has also expressed her grief over the loss. 

“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," she said. "There will never be another June Brown and I’m sending all my love to her family." 

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.