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EastEnders star June Brown has died at the age of 95, having passed away 'peacefully' at her home in Surrey on Sunday (3 April).
A spokesperson for the soap said they were 'deeply saddened' by Brown's death, saying 'a very bright light has gone out' at EastEnders.
She had starred in the long-running BBC programme as Dot Cotton, one of the show's most famous roles, and had appeared in 2,884 episodes after joining the cast in 1985.
June Brown, OBE, MBE— EastEnders Press (@EastEndersPress) April 4, 2022
An EastEnders spokesperson 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 humour 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.
“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.”
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.”
After serving in the Women’s Royal Naval Service at the end of WWII, Brown left to train at London’s Old Vic Theatre School in Lambeth.
The veteran soap star arrived on Albert Square shortly after EastEnders began in the mid-80s and, apart from a break between 1993 and 1997, went on to be a beloved regular for more than three decades.
During her career, she also featured in many other popular TV shows such as Coronation Street, Doctor Who, Minder and The Bill, as well as costume dramas The Duchess Of Duke Street and Oliver Twist.
Brown was made an OBE in December 2021 as she was recognised for services to drama and to charity, and also won several awards for her portrayal of Dot, including a Lifetime Achievement honour at the 2005 British Soap Awards.