When did June Brown join Eastenders as Dot Cotton?


EASTENDERS legend June Brown quit her role as chain-smoking hypochondriac Dot Cotton back in 2020.

The 95-year-old telly favourite was a legend in Walford after having spent 35 years on the soap. June died two years after leaving Albert Square on April 3, 2022.

June Brown has quit EastEnders

When did June Brown join EastEnders?

The veteran actress has been a regular in Albert Square since just after the BBC1 soap began in 1985, apart from a break between 1993 and 1997.

She also took six months off in 2012 to pen her autobiography.

June’s character Dot was known for her chain-smoking, working in the local launderette and being the long-suffering mum of criminal Nick Cotton.

She has played chain-smoking Dot Cotton on the soap for 35 years

How did June Brown get the role of Dot Cotton?

Late actor Leslie Grantham, who played Dirty Den, recommended a then-unknown June to producers months after the show began.

Initially, Dot was a rather unsympathetic, sanctimonious character who became warmer over the years.

The first words June uttered as Dot Cotton, on 4 July 1985 – five months after the show launched – were: “Give us a tea, Lofty. And a glass of water so I can take a Paracetamol.”


Dot with her best friend Ethel

What were Dot Cotton’s biggest storylines?

One of her biggest storylines was for the 30th anniversary when she gave villain son Nick (John Altman) a fatal dose of heroin and let him die.

This wasn’t the first time she helped someone commit suicide, as in 1997 she also helped best friend Ethel die too.

In 2003 she was also in an EastEnders special called Dot’s Story about her evacuation in World War II, which mirrored June’s real life.

Why did June Brown quit as Dot Cotton after 35 years?

On February 21, 2020 it was revealed that June Brown had quit EastEnders after turning down the chance of a retainer contract – but an exact reason for her departure is yet to be revealed.

Arguably the soap’s best-known remaining cast member, her character had not been seen since January 2020 when she left a voicemail for Sonia Fowler, played by Natalie Cassidy, saying she had moved to Ireland.

Speaking on the Distinct Nostalgia podcast to former co-star Rani Singh, who played shop owner Sufia Karim in the late 1980s, June said: “I don’t want a retainer for EastEnders, I’ve left. I’ve left for good. I’ve sent her (Dot) off to Ireland where she’ll stay. I’ve left EastEnders.”

In 2019 she also revealed she was losing her sight, leaving her struggling to read scripts.

The actress has been a part of the show since its first ever year

June passed away on Sunday, April 4, 2022, aged 95.

Her family released a statement through the Eastenders Twitter account, saying: “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.”