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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Lucy Domachowski

Inside EastEnders legend June Brown's will - staggering net worth and who she left fortune to

The indomitable June Brown , who played the much-loved character Dot Cotton on EastEnders for more than three decades, died last year at the age of 95.

The OBE, MBE and BAFTA winner became a national treasure through the EastEnders role she won a little shy of her 60th birthday.

Dot Cotton was a fan favourite and one of the BBC soap's longest-running characters, first appearing in the series in 1985, the year EastEnders was created.

She appeared in a staggering 2,884 episodes after only supposed to be on Albert Square for a short amount of time initially, But June impressed showrunners and carried on to become the first and only soap actor to carry an entire episode by herself in January 2008.

June remained a staple on the show for 35 years. The actress did not retire until 2020, despite macular degeneration which caused near-blindness.

The OBE, MBE and BAFTA winner became a national treasure (Getty Images)
Dot Cotton was a fan favourite and one of the BBC soap's longest-running characters (BBC)

During her more than three decades on the show, the Suffolk-born star built up a healthy net worth which she passes on, along with her legacy, to her six children.

June made her fortune on EastEnders but had appeared on a number of well-known programmes such as Coronation Street and Doctor Who prior to getting the part.

She amassed sizable affluence, which is reported to be between £1million and £3.8million at the time of her death.

June was offered the chance to add to that fortune in 2017, when she was reportedly offered £300,000 for a one-year contract on the BBC drama after she decided to leave the show.

Talking about the offer, she said: "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," she added while discussing her role on the Distinct Nostalgia podcast.

June remained a staple on the show for 35 years (BBC)
She first appeared in the series in 1985, the year EastEnders was created (Getty Images)

While she would stoically deny her life had been tragic, she suffered early and repeated loss – first of her beloved sister, Marise (known as Micie) in childhood, then her first husband, later a baby with her second, and finally finding herself widowed again in 2003.

Following the death of her John Garley, June went on to marry her second husband Robert Arnold in 1958.

She had six children with him but lost her second daughter, Chloe, at just a month old.

June’s surviving five children had their mum’s fortune split between them after her passing, according to reports from The Sun at the time.

The actress reportedly decided to split her remaining finances equally between them.

At the time of June's death, her children released a statement which read: "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.

June sadly passed away in April 2022 (Getty Images)
She appeared in a staggering 2,884 episodes (Getty Images)

"We would kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time."

The star was born on February 16, 1927, in rural Suffolk. Her mother was an East Ender and, as the actress would learn on BBC1 show Who Do You Think You Are?, descended from Sephardic Jews – specifically, from the 19th-century bare-knuckle fighter Isaac Bitton.

June was one of five children – though she lost a brother to pneumonia when he was a baby – in a family who lived above their dad’s electrical business. She later lost her sister Micie to meningitis – a loss she carried the weight of through out her life.

A character in life and on screen, June previously told how she didn’t fear death and refused to quit her long-term smoking habit, continued drinking wine and Guinness, and merrily went on eating the dark chocolate she was allergic to, but adored.

"What's the point of worrying?" she told the Mirror four years ago. "I could go to sleep tonight and not be here tomorrow. 'Oh dear, June's gone,' they'd say."

She wasn't scared, she explained, because she believed in an afterlife, had her Christian faith, and accepted there was nothing to fear in death.

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