June Brown is dead: Dot Cotton’s most iconic EastEnders moments as star dies at 95

TV program: EASTENDERS. PICTURED: JUNE BROWN as Dot TX: BBC ONE Tuesday February 25, 2003 A devastated Dot (June Brown) sits alone in the laundromat contemplating Jim's (John Bardon) list. WARNING: This copyright image may only be used to publish BBC current programming or other BBC editions. Any other use without the express prior consent of the BBC may give rise to legal action... BBC Unmanipulated image Tuesday 25th February 2003

Dot has featured in many of EastEnders’ most iconic moments over the years (Image: BBC)

EastEnders icon June Brown has died aged 95.

The actress died at her side on Sunday evening surrounded by her family.

A statement from an EastEnders spokesman 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 sense of humor will never be forgotten.”

Best known for her portrayal of Dot Cotton, later Branning, June 1985 rocked Walford in the soap’s premiere year and made her debut in the 40th episode.

Over the next four decades, she starred in some of television’s most iconic moments, creating a character that was larger than life and will be remembered for generations to come.

We at Metro.co.uk felt it appropriate to pay tribute to the acclaimed actress by reflecting on her most memorable moments as Dot.

Dot’s very first appearance

Dot may have been with EastEnders since year one, but she didn’t make her screen debut until the series’ 40th episode.

The character had previously been mentioned by colleague Pauline Fowler and finally appeared on screens in July when she arrived at the cafe and asked Lofty for a cup of tea.

“Give us some tea, Lofty!” she called as she entered the premises. “And a glass of water so I can take paracetamol!”

Her attention was soon elsewhere, however, and she was quick to reprimand Arthur Fowler, who had screamed “damn it” when he injured his hand trying to fix the stove.

“You shall not she said confidently, disapproving of his language.

Talk about a gig!

Dot and Ethel’s two-handed sword

Dot and his best friend Ethel Skinner took center stage in a special two-handed edition of the BBC One soap opera in 1987.

The episode in question was simply a Sunday afternoon chat between old friends, akin to a play, and excellent dialogue and interesting revelations made it a memorable one.

Dot and Ethel were arguably used for comedic purposes in the earlier days, but this episode revealed the hardships they both endured in a pre-EastEnders era and ultimately strengthened the characters.

Dot helps Ethel take her own life

TV Program: Eastenders with June Brown as Dot Cotton and Gretchen Franklin as Ethel Skinner. 557636-eastenders-2000-ethel-and-dot.jpg

Ethel was Dot’s best friend (Image: BBC)

By 2000, Ethel had become very unwell and wanted Dot to help her die when the time came.

Dot had been conflicted over the matter as Ethel’s request went against her religious beliefs, but ultimately she decided her friend’s wishes were more important and so did as she asked in one of the most emotional outings in EastEnders history.

Jim and Dot’s relationship

Dot’s partnership with Jim Branning is arguably as legendary as the icon himself. The duo were brought together by producer John Yorke in the early 2000s, and Jim soon proposed to Dot in memorable scenes on the London Eye in 2001.

The following year, on Valentine’s Day, they tied the knot and became one of the most memorable couples of all time.

Dot is the focus of the one-handed episode

**EMBARGOED TO 22 JANUARY 2008** Image shows: Dot Cotton [JUNE BROWN] Tx: BBC On a Thursday 31st January 2008, Dot makes a recorded message for Jim explaining her fears for his health and how much he means to her. WARNING: Use of this copyright image is subject to the BBC Pictures Terms of Service for the BBC Digital Picture Service. In particular, this image may only be published in print for editorial purposes during the promotional period (weeks immediately preceding and including the broadcast week of the relevant program or event and three subsequent review weeks) for the purpose of publicizing the programme, person or service depicted, provided that the BBC and the Copyright holders are named in the caption. Any use of this image on the internet and other online communication services requires a separate prior agreement with BBC Pictures. Any other purpose, including advertising and commercial purposes, requires prior written permission from the copyright owner.

Dot featured in the show’s only one-hander (Image: BBC)

Dot took center stage in a special episode of EastEnders, which featured only one character. It was the first of its kind and was highly acclaimed, with June earning a BAFTA nomination for her work on the outing.

In the episode in question, Dot recorded a special message for husband Jim, who was in the hospital recovering from a stroke at the time.

Dot meets Dotty

Dotty arrived in Albert Square on Christmas Day 2008 when Nick was rocking out again, and it wasn’t long before she became friends with Grandma Dot.

Dot, who had developed a strong relationship with her granddaughter, “bought” Dotty from the evil Nick, but Dotty ended up in cahoots with her father when they plotted to steal Dot’s money.

After Nick learned that Dot left all her money to her granddaughter, Nick decided to murder his dear mother and persuaded Dotty to carry out the murderous act.

Dotty wasn’t able to pull off the plan, however, and in the scenes that followed, the little girl formed a genuine bond with her grandmother, a bond revisited in 2019.

Dot’s role in Nick’s death

Dot struggled to process the death of her beloved son, Nick, who died of a drug overdose in 2015.

The matriarch had provided the drugs that ultimately led to his death, and he subsequently died in her arms in powerful scenes as part of the soap’s 30th anniversary.

Dot eventually went to jail, believing that she deserved to be punished.

Dot and Dr. Legg get back together

For UK, Ireland or Benelux use only Undated BBC handout photo of original EastEnders cast members Dot Cotton, played by June Brown, and Dr. Legg played by Leonard Fenton. Actor Leonard Fenton, who played Dr. Harold Legg, who played in EastEnders, has died aged 95. He appeared on EastEnders in his very first episode, with his final scenes airing in 2019. Issue date: Monday January 31, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story DEATH Fenton. Photo credit should read: BBC/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use beyond 21 days of issue. You may only use this image free of charge for the purpose of publication or coverage of current BBC programmes, staff or other BBC results or activities within 21 days of publication. Any use after this MUST be approved by BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programmer as described in the caption.

In 2018, Dor met up with longtime family doctor Dr. Legg (Image: BBC)

In a special story that aired in 2018, Leonard Fenton reprized his role as Dr. Legg, who would eventually reunite the character with longtime patient Dot.

dr Legg was not doing well at the time and Dot took him in to live with her. He died in emotional scenes with Dot by his side as she urged him to leave and be with his beloved wife Judith.

Dot’s last appearance

The final scenes of Dot aired on January 21, 2020. The follower was spotted chatting with Martin and Sonia Fowler, and she came to believe that Martin had stolen her money.

Martin, on the other hand, was actually Cover for Sonia. “Oh, Martin,” she said. ‘I’ve known you since you were born and your mother was one of my closest friends.’

Dot left soon after and made his way to Ireland, but her voice could be heard on a recording later leaving a special message for Sonia.

If you have a soap or TV story, video or pictures, contact us by email at soaps@metro.co.uk – we’d love to hear from you.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/04/04/june-brown-dead-dot-cottons-most-iconic-eastenders-moments-as-star-died-at-95-16402864/ June Brown is dead: Dot Cotton's most iconic EastEnders moments as star dies at 95

Ryan Sederquist

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