Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Jessica Taylor

June Brown wanted to be buried at sea - and even had her coffin picked out

Iconic soap actress June Brown, who has died at the age of 95, once said she wanted to be buried at sea.

The veteran actor, who was known and loved for playing chain-smoking Dot Cotton on BBC soap Eastenders, was known for her dry sense of humour and lust for life.

Born in Suffolk in 1927 she lived through an awful lot, losing both her younger brother John to pneumonia in 1932 and her older sister Marise to meningitis two years later.

Towards the end of the Second World War as a young woman, she served in the Women's Royal Naval Service and was based in Scotland - which is perhaps where her love of the sea came from.

June Brown was best known for playing chain-smoking Dot Cotton in Eastenders (PA)

For more of the news you care about straight to your inbox, sign up for one of our daily newsletters here

In an interview with The Scottish Herald in 2013, she told the interviewer she had her funeral all planned out.

Brown told the newspaper: "I want to be buried at sea. The Britannia Shipping Company drops you off round the Isle of Wight. I'll be in a nice white nightie and they wrap you in a balsa wood coffin and weight it. I must get it ordered."

She added a friend who was a clairvoyant told her she was going to live to 100 - but she insisted she didn't want to reach that milestone if it meant she wouldn't be able to work.

During her time in the Navy, she discovered acting and won a place at London's Old Vic Theatre school when the war was over.

It was there that she met her first husband John Garley - but sadly he took his own life in 1957.

The following year she remarried Robert Arnold and the pair were together for 45 years until his death in 2003.

Their four and a half decades together were anything but quiet as they had six children together in just seven years - although their second daughter Chloe was born premature and sadly died.

The pair also admitted several affairs between them during their time together, but it never drove them apart.

Speaking to The Scottish Herald, Brown pointed out where she kept her husband's ashes to the interviewer as she led them around her house.

Despite decades playing Dot Cotton in Albert Square, Brown was modest about her position as one of the UK's most cherished soap stars.

She said: "Icon? Acorn more like."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.