June Brown
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June Muriel Brown (born 16 February 1927) is an English actress and author. She is best known for her role as
Dot Cotton Dorothy "Dot" Branning (also Cotton) is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a novel, Play (theatre), play, television series, film, or vide ...
on the
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BBC
soap opera ''
EastEnders ''EastEnders'' is a British soap opera A soap opera is a radio or television serial dealing especially with domestic situations and frequently characterized by melodrama, ensemble casts, and sentimentality. The term "soap opera" originate ...

EastEnders
'' (1985–1993; 1997–2020). In 2005, she won Best Actress at the ''Inside Soap'' Awards and received the Lifetime Achievement award at the
British Soap Awards The British Soap Awards (BSAs) are an annual awards ceremony in the United Kingdom which honours the best moments in British soap operas. The ceremony is televised on ITV (TV channel), ITV and is currently presented by Phillip Schofield. The trop ...
. Brown was appointed a
Member of the Order of the British Empire The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the The arts, arts and Science, sciences, work with charitable and welfare Organization, organisations, and public service outside the civi ...
(MBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to drama and to charity. In 2009, she was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress, making her the second performer to receive a
BAFTA The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA, ) is an independent charity that supports, develops, and promotes the art forms of the moving image (film, television and games) in the United Kingdom. In addition to its annual awards c ...
nomination for their work in a soap opera, after
Jean Alexander Jean Mavis Hodgkinson (11 October 1926 – 14 October 2016), known by the stage name Jean Alexander, was a British television actress. She was best known to television viewers for her long running role of Hilda Ogden in the soap opera '' Coro ...
. It was announced in February 2020 that Brown had decided to leave ''EastEnders'' permanently, at the age of 93.


Early life

Brown was born on 16 February 1927 in Needham Market, Suffolk, the daughter of Louisa Ann (née Butler) and Henry William Melton Brown. She was one of five children, although her younger brother John Peter died of pneumonia in 1932 at 15 days old, and her elder sister Marise died in 1934 aged eight from a meningitis-like illness. She is of Algerian (Sephardi Jews, Sephardic Jewish), Dutch, Irish, Italian, and Scottish descent. On her maternal grandmother's side, she is descended from noted Jewish bare-knuckle boxer Isaac Bitton (boxer), Isaac Bitton. Brown was educated at St John's Church of England School in Ipswich and then won a scholarship to Ipswich High School (Suffolk), Ipswich High School, where she passed the School Certificate (UK), school certificate examinations.June Brown Interview in The Independent
Retrieved 3 January 2013
During the World War II, Second World War, she was evacuated to the Welsh village of Pontyates in Carmarthenshire. During the later years of the war, she served in the Women's Royal Naval Service, Wrens and was classically trained at the Old Vic Theatre School in London's Lambeth area.


Career


Film and television

Brown has had a long television career, with small roles in ''Coronation Street'' as List of Coronation Street characters (1970)#Mrs Parsons, Mrs Parsons (1970–71); the ''Play for Today'', ''Edna, the Inebriate Woman'' as Clara (1971); the ''Doctor Who'' story ''The Time Warrior'' as Lady Eleanor (1973–74); the medical soap ''Angels (TV series), Angels''; the history-of-Britain ''Churchill's People''; long-running comedy drama ''Minder (TV series), Minder''; the police drama soap ''The Bill''; and cult sci-fi series ''Survivors (1975 TV series), Survivors''. She had a bigger part as Mrs Leyton in the costume drama ''The Duchess of Duke Street'' (1976), and played Mrs Mann in ''Oliver Twist (1985 TV serial), Oliver Twist'' (1985). She has also starred in the wartime big band comedy ''Ain't Misbehavin'' (1997), and played Nanny Slagg in the BBC's big-budget production of ''Gormenghast series, Gormenghast'' in 2000. She had a number of small roles in several movies, appearing as the grieving mother of an undead biker in British Horror film, horror flick ''Psychomania'' (1971), as well as ''Sunday Bloody Sunday (film), Sunday Bloody Sunday'' (1971), ''Sitting Target'' (1972), ''The 14'' (1973), ''Murder by Decree'' (1979), ''Nijinsky'' (1980), ''The Mambo Kings'' (1992) and the ''Mr. Bean'' movie spin-off ''Bean (1997 film), Bean'' (1997). She also appeared as Tom Hedden's wife in ''Straw Dogs (1971 film), Straw Dogs'' (1971), although her scenes were cut from the film. In 1984, she featured in the TV mini-series ''Lace (TV series), Lace'' which starred actress Phoebe Cates. In 2006, Brown appeared as Aunt Spiker at the Children's Party At The Palace, an all-star event to celebrate the Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen's 80th birthday. In 2010, Brown took part in Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Specials#2010 Christmas Special, the annual Christmas special of ''Strictly Come Dancing''. Brown said "I'm terrified and apprehensive about what I've let myself in for, I must be barmy and I'm not sure what's come over me... I just hope I can remember the steps to the routines. I'm looking forward to working with the professional dancers and the other contestants." Her dancing partner was Vincent Simone, with whom she danced the tango. In July 2012, Brown hosted a documentary for the BBC called ''Respect Your Elders'', which looked at society's treatment and attitudes towards the elderly.


Theatre

Brown has also been active in British theatre. She directed ''Pin Money'' by Malcolm Needs in London, and ''Double D'' by Matthew Westwood in Edinburgh and London. She played Mrs Danvers in a touring production of ''Rebecca (novel), Rebecca''. Other plays include ''An Inspector Calls'', ''The Lion in Winter'', ''A View from the Bridge'', and numerous pantomimes. During her early career, she played the roles of Hedda Gabler and Lady Macbeth. In 2009, Brown played Jessie in the West End production of ''Calendar Girls (play), Calendar Girls'' at the Noël Coward Theatre. Also in the play were former ''
EastEnders ''EastEnders'' is a British soap opera A soap opera is a radio or television serial dealing especially with domestic situations and frequently characterized by melodrama, ensemble casts, and sentimentality. The term "soap opera" originate ...

EastEnders
'' stars Anita Dobson (Angie Watts), Jill Halfpenny (Kate Mitchell (EastEnders), Kate Mitchell) and Jack Ryder (actor), Jack Ryder (Jamie Mitchell).


''EastEnders''

Brown was recommended to producers for the role of
Dot Cotton Dorothy "Dot" Branning (also Cotton) is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a novel, Play (theatre), play, television series, film, or vide ...
in ''
EastEnders ''EastEnders'' is a British soap opera A soap opera is a radio or television serial dealing especially with domestic situations and frequently characterized by melodrama, ensemble casts, and sentimentality. The term "soap opera" originate ...

EastEnders
'' by one of its original cast members, Leslie Grantham, who played Den Watts. Brown played the role from 1985 to 2020, with a break between 1993 and 1997. On 31 January 2008, Brown became the first and, , only soap actor to carry an entire episode single-handed. The episode, titled "Pretty Baby....", featured a monologue looking back over her character's life, dictated to a cassette machine for her husband Jim to listen to in hospital following a stroke. The fact that co-star and close friend John Bardon (who played Jim) was recovering from a stroke in real life added extra pathos to the episode. In 2009, Brown was nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress. Brown's nomination came as a result of her "single-hander" episode of ''EastEnders'', the director of which she praised. On 30 April 2012, it was announced that Brown would take a six-month break from ''EastEnders'' and planned to write her autobiography during her time off. In October 2012, it was announced she had returned to filming, and she appeared on screen again from January 2013. In May 2015, Brown revealed that her eyesight is failing due to macular degeneration. Later, in 2016, a storyline for Dot where her eyesight was deteriorating was introduced. Speaking about the condition in April 2019, Brown said that it had worsened since undergoing surgery in 2017, and that she does not go out socially because of her eyesight: "I never go to soap awards or suchlike now. I don't recognise people that I know and they would think I was snubbing them." On 20 February 2020, Brown announced she had left ''EastEnders''.


Personal life

At the age of 23, Brown met and married actor John Garley; he suffered from major depressive disorder, depression and took his own life in 1957. In 1958, she married actor Robert Arnold. They had six children in seven years, one of whom died in infancy. The couple were together for 45 years, until he died in 2003 of Dementia with Lewy bodies, Lewy-body dementia. Since then, she has lived alone in Surrey. Brown is a supporter of the Conservative Party (UK), Conservative Party and told ''The Guardian'' in 2009, "I wouldn't vote Labour Party (UK), Labour, dear, if you paid me. I vote Conservative." Like her ''EastEnders'' character, she is a Christians, Christian. Brown was appointed
Member of the Order of the British Empire The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the The arts, arts and Science, sciences, work with charitable and welfare Organization, organisations, and public service outside the civi ...
(MBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2022 New Year Honours, both for services to drama and to charity.


Awards and recognition


Filmography


Film

* ''Sunday Bloody Sunday (film), Sunday Bloody Sunday'' (1971) as Woman Patient * ''Straw Dogs (1971 film), Straw Dogs'' (1971) as Mrs Hedden (scenes deleted) * ''Sitting Target'' (1972) as Lomart's neighbour * ''Psychomania'' (1972) as Mrs Pettibone * ''The 14'' (1973) as The Mother * ''Murder by Decree'' (1979) as Annie Chapman * ''Nijinsky (film), Nijinsky'' (1980) as Maria Stepanova * ''Misunderstood (1984 film), Misunderstood'' (1984) as Mrs Paley * ''The Mambo Kings'' (1992) as Portly Woman * ''Bean (1997 film), Bean: The Movie'' (1997) as Delilah * ''Margery and Gladys'' (2003) as Gladys Gladwell * ''Spidarlings'' (2016) as June * ''Ethel & Ernest (film), Ethel & Ernest'' (2016) as Ernest's stepmother


Television

* ''The Rough and Ready Lot'' (September 1959) as Chica * ''Coronation Street'' (1970–1971) as Mrs. Parsons (3 episodes) * ''Edna, the Inebriate Woman'' (1971) as Clara * ''Doctor Who'' (''The Time Warrior'' serial) (1973–1974) as Lady Eleanor of Wessex (4 episodes) * ''South Riding (novel), South Riding'' (1974) as Lily Sawdon (4 episodes) * ''Special Branch (TV series), Special Branch'' (1974) as Chrissy (1 episode) * ''Churchill's People'' (1975) as Agnes Paston (1 episode) * ''The Sweeney'' (1975) as Mrs Martin (1 episode) * ''The Duchess of Duke Street'' (1976–1977) as Mrs Violet Leyton (6 episodes) * ''Survivors (1975 TV series), Survivors'' (1977) as Susan (1 episode) * ''God's Wonderful Railway'' (1980) as Elsie Grant (3 Episodes) * ''Lace (TV series), Lace'' (1984) as Mrs Trelawney (2 episodes) * ''Minder (TV series), Minder'' (1984) as Joany (1 episode) * ''The Bill'' (1984) as Mrs Doleman (1 episode) * ''Oliver Twist (1985 TV serial), Oliver Twist'' (1985) as Mrs Mann (1 episode) * ''
EastEnders ''EastEnders'' is a British soap opera A soap opera is a radio or television serial dealing especially with domestic situations and frequently characterized by melodrama, ensemble casts, and sentimentality. The term "soap opera" originate ...

EastEnders
'' (1985–1993, 1997–2020) as Dot Cotton, Dot Cotton/Branning (2,351 episodes) * ''Gormenghast (TV serial), Gormenghast'' (2000) as Nannie Slagg (2 episodes) * ''Heading Out'' (2013) as Sozzie (1 episode) * ''June Brown at 90: A Walford Legend'' (2017), TV special * ''100 Years Younger in 21 Days'' (2018) as herself (documentary series) *''Hard to Please OAPS'' (2019) as herself (documentary series, 6 episodes)


Radio

*''Missing You'' (2021) as Margey (1 episode)


Theatre

* ''The Rough and Ready Lot'' * ''Magnolia Street Story'' * ''An Inspector Calls'' * ''Nightshade'' * ''The Lion in Winter'' * ''Hedda Gabler'' * ''A Day Forever'' * ''Rebecca (novel), Rebecca'' * ''Laura'' * ''Absolute Hell'' * ''Macbeth'' * ''Calendar Girls (play), Calendar Girls''


Directed

* ''Double D'' (play)


Bibliography

* ''Before the Year Dot'' (2013)


References


External links


June Brown
at the British Film Institute * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Brown, June 1927 births Living people English television actresses English stage actresses English soap opera actresses Members of the Order of the British Empire Women's Royal Naval Service ratings People from Needham Market English people of Irish descent English people of Scottish descent English people of Dutch descent English people of Jewish descent English Christians People educated at Ipswich High School, Suffolk English people of Algerian descent English people of Italian descent Conservative Party (UK) people 20th-century English actresses 21st-century English actresses