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June Brown, EastEnders icon Dot Cotton, dies aged 95

LONDON June Brown, who played chain-smoking Cockney matriarch Dot Cotton on British soap opera EastEnders for 35 years, has died. She was 95.

The BBC, which produces the show, announced Brown’s death on Monday. She died with her family by her side at her home outside London on Sunday.

EastEnders producers said Brown has appeared in 2,884 episodes of the soap and has “created one of the most iconic characters on Dot Cotton, not just on the soap but on British television.”

Born in 1927, Brown served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service towards the end of World War II before being educated at the Old Vic Theater School. She played countless stage roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company and other troupes, and had many film and television roles before being cast in EastEnders, a soap opera chronicling life in London’s fictional working class Walford.

Intended as a southern rival to northern England-based soap opera Coronation Street, the show launched in 1985 and soon became a ratings hit. Brown created one of his most popular characters in Cotton, a devout Christian and incorrigible gossip who worked at the local laundromat and assessed her neighbors with a keen eye and equally sharp tongue.

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Storylines over the years chronicled Dot’s suffering at the hands of her wayward son “Nasty Nick” Cotton, who once plotted to kill her to steal her bingo winnings. A memorable story arc saw Cotton struggle with her faith after a terminally ill friend asked for help to end her life.

EastEnders became a British institution – Queen Elizabeth II even visited the set in 2001 – and Brown was one of its longest-serving stars. Apart from a hiatus between 1993 and 1997, she remained in the program until 2020 and received a lifetime achievement award for the role at the 2005 British Soap Awards.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said Britain had “lost a true national treasure”.

The show’s producers said, “A very bright light went out on ‘EastEnders’ today, but we’ll all grow a sweet sherry in June’s memory.”

“Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten.”

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https://www.ksat.com/entertainment/2022/04/04/june-brown-eastenders-icon-dot-cotton-dies-at-95/ June Brown, EastEnders icon Dot Cotton, dies aged 95

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