Words: Will Stroude; Image: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
EastEnders legend June Brown has died aged 95.
The actress, who played Albert Square's Dot Cotton from 1985-2020, passed away on Sunday (3 April).
A statement from EastEnders shared on social media reads:"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.
June Brown, OBE, MBE— EastEnders Press (@EastEndersPress) April 4, 2022
"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 but we shall all be raising a sweet sherry in June's memory. Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten."
Born in Suffolk in 1927, Brown's acting career first took off in the 1970s with supporting roles in Coronation Street and Doctor Who.
In 1985, she was cast in BBC soap opera EastEnders as laundrette work Dot Cotton; a role in which she remained until 1993. She returned to the series in 1997, becoming the show's longest-running female character until her second and final departure in 2020.
Dot Cotton was renowned for her devout Christian faith, chain-smoking, and for dealing with the antics of her villainous son Nick (John Altman). In the 1980s, the character also became known for her anti-gay views, which were explored through her interactions with gay Albert Square resident Colin Russell, played by Stonewall co-founder and current House of Lords member Michael Cashman.
Brown married her first husband, John Garley, in 1950, but was widowed in 1957 when he took his own life after battling depression.
Brown wed Robert Arnold in 1958 and the couple had six children together, one of whom died in infancy. The pair remained together for 45 years until Arnold's death in 2003 from Lewy-body dementia.