Suffolk-born EastEnders legend June Brown dies aged 95

June Brown from Needham Market has died aged 95 

June Brown from Needham Market has died aged 95 - Credit: PA

EastEnders legend June Brown, who grew up in Suffolk, has died aged 95.

Brown, who is best known for her role as EastEnders' Dot Cotton, was born in Needham Market. 

The actress died at her home in Surrey on Sunday with her family by her side.

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.”

An EastEnders spokeswoman said: “We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved June Brown, OBE, MBE, sadly passed away last night.

EADT/STARpics sarah lucy brown 3/11/11UCS graduation ceremony for the School of Applied Soci

Actress June Brown receiving her honorary degree at the University of Suffolk - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“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.

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“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.”

The Albert Square mainstay went to school at St John's Church of England School in Ipswich before winning a scholarship to Ipswich High School.

Headteacher at St John's, Mrs Betts, said yesterday: "We are sorry to hear of the death of June Brown today. 

"She was our school's most famous ‘past pupil’ having attended the school when it was based at the original site in Cauldwell Hall Road.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this sad time."

EastEnders actress June Brown (left of centre) pictured receiving an honorary degree at the Universi

EastEnders actress June Brown (left of centre) pictured receiving an honorary degree at the University of Suffolk in 2011 - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Brown, who was awarded an honorary degree at the University of Suffolk, won a number of awards for her portrayal of Dot, including a lifetime achievement honour at the 2005 British Soap Awards.

In 2009, she was nominated for the best actress prize at the TV Baftas for her standalone episode of the soap.

In December 2021 Brown was made an OBE in the New Year Honours, as she was recognised for services to drama and to charity.

Brown's stint on the soap as chain-smoking Albert Square mainstay Dot began in 1985 - the year it was created.

In 2008 she became the first EastEnders actress to carry an entire episode single-handed.

The veteran, who was one of the soaps best-known stars left her role in the BBC One soap in 2020 after 35 years in the show. 

Before joining EastEnders she had roles in Coronation Street, Doctor Who, Minder and The Bill, as well as costume dramas The Duchess Of Duke Street and Oliver Twist.