June Browns final EastEnders appearance as Dot Cotton before death aged 95

EastEnders icon June Brown has passed away at the age of 95.

The legendary soap actress was best known for playing Dot Cotton for 35 years in Albert Square, before she left the show in 2020.

The veteran actress was one of EastEnders longest-running cast members when she retired at 93 years old.

June’s final episode on the soap aired in January 2020, when Dot left a voicemail for Sonia Fowler to let her know that she had moved to Ireland.

While EastEnders made clear at the time that the door would always be open for June to return, she made it clear that she had “left for good.”

June opened up about her decision to leave the show on Distinct Nostalgia podcast in February 2020.

She admitted: "I don't want a retainer. I've left. I've left for good.

"I've sent myself to Ireland and that's where she'll stay. I've left EastEnders."

Her final appearance on screen was a few weeks before when her step daughter, Sonia tried to steal money from her.

June also revealed that leaving the show had felt like a “bereavement.”

She said at the time: "I was feeling down a few days ago. I thought 'What's the matter? Why do I feel so sad?' It's almost as if I've been bereaved.

"I've played two people simultaneously for 35 years. Really Dot wasn't me, but spiritually she probably was.

June first appeared as chain-smoking Dot when the soap began in 1985 and over the years had some of the biggest storylines that have discussed difficult issues such as euthanasia and cancer.

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EastEnders confirmed the sad news of June’s death on Monday (4 April). The statement read: “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 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."

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