Tributes are flooding in for EastEnders star June Brown, who has died aged 95, with Stephen Fry praising her “wonderful human qualities”.
Brown played the iconic Dot Cotton in the long running BBC soap opera for more than 30 years, and was much loved in UK entertainment circles.
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She passed away peacefully on Sunday evening with her family by her side at her home in Surrey, England.
Actor and broadcaster Fry tweeted: “June Brown, amongst all her other wonderful human qualities and achievements, will be remembered as a tireless and fearless LGBT ally – especially during the darkest days of HIV/AIDS and Section 28 [legislation that banned ‘promotion of homosexuality’]… it was a privilege to know her.”
British actor and musician Martin Kemp, who appeared with Brown in EastEnders in the late 1990s and early 2002s, wrote on Twitter: “I was such a small part of your 35 years at EastEnders but you were a massive part of my time there.”
Bafta released a statement saying: “We’re deeply saddened to hear of the death of June Brown”, while gameshow presenter Vernon Kay called her “an incredible woman” after meeting her on the set of gameshow Family Fortunes.
Brown joined EastEnders’ cast in 1985, the same year it was created.
A spokesperson for the show paid tribute to the actress, saying: “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 – we shall all be raising a sweet sherry in June’s memory. Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten.”
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