June Brown's on-screen son claimed doctors told EastEnders star to carry on smoking before she died

EastEnders legend June Brown was reportedly told by doctors to carry on smoking before her death, aged 95

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The actress died at her home on Sunday with her family by her side.

She was a well-known smoker, and it is said she got through around 20 cigarettes a day.

But John Altman, her on-screen son, revealed before her death that she moved down to half a pack a day on doctors’ orders.

Mr Altman, 70, starred alongside Ms Brown as Dot Cotton’s criminally wayward son, Nick, on EastEnders.

File photo dated 25/02/97 of June Brown, who in character as the long-suffering busy-body Dot Cotton. June Brown, best known for her role as chain-smoking Dot Cotton, has died at the age of 95, the BBC has announced. The actress died at her home in Surrey on Sunday evening with her family by her side.
File photo dated 25/02/97 of June Brown, who in character as the long-suffering busy-body Dot Cotton. June Brown, best known for her role as chain-smoking Dot Cotton, has died at the age of 95, the BBC has announced. The actress died at her home in Surrey on Sunday evening with her family by her side.
File photo dated 04/11/08 of Eastenders actress June Brown in Buckingham Palace, London, receiving an MBE for services to Drama and Charity from Queen Elizabeth II.
File photo dated 04/11/08 of Eastenders actress June Brown in Buckingham Palace, London, receiving an MBE for services to Drama and Charity from Queen Elizabeth II.

Having been a regular visitor to her Surrey home, he told The Sun in 2020: “She is still smoking, unfortunately.

“But the doctors have told her not to stop now.

“She loves her ciggies. She smokes at least ten a day.”

Responding to news of Ms Brown’s death today, An EastEnders spokeswoman 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 humour will never be forgotten.

“June created one of the most iconic characters in Dot Cotton, not just in soap but in British television, and having appeared in 2,884 episodes, June’s remarkable performances created some of EastEnders’ finest moments.

“We send all our love and deepest sympathies to June’s family and friends. A very bright light has gone out at EastEnders today but we shall all be raising a sweet sherry in June’s memory.

“Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten.”

A statement from Ms Brown’s family said: “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.”