Veteran EastEnders stars June Brown said she has left her role as the fan-favorite character Dot Cotton after 35 years.
The 93-year-old said in an interview:
“I’ve left for good.”
Brown is one of the BBC soap’s longest-running characters that has become a much-loved character with viewers. But since January, fans noticed her character has not been in an episode of it.
In the last episode where she was in, aired last month, Dot Cotton or Dot Branning was shown leaving a voicemail message for character Sonia Fowler stating she had moved to Ireland.
When asked by the interviewer and former co-star Rani Singh whether EastEnders just put her on a retainer, the actress replied:
“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.”
However, a spokesman for EastEnders said in an interview:
“We never discuss artists’ contracts, however as far as EastEnders are concerned the door remains open for June, as it always has if the story arises and if June wishes to take part.”
Actor John Altman, who played Nick Cotton (Dot’s son), was asked about June Brown and her last episode in an interview:
“June as an actress is one of the greatest we’ve got, and I learned a lot from her too. She’s an incredibly hard worker.”
“I think it could’ve been a better exit, that’s for sure, but she must have discussed this with the powers that be. It’s the way it is, it’s a shame.”
Brown was in her late 50s when she joined Albert Square.
Leslie Grantham, who played Dirty Den, helped her to get the role. Since then, Brown’s career had reached the stage, film, and television, with appearances in popular shows like Coronation Street and Doctor Who.
The veteran actress told the podcast that has an episode celebrating 35 years of EastEnders:
“I think I got it because they thought I was a punctual actress.”
“I’m not really but I became so. In fact, I became so punctual I used to be in an hour before I should be.”
She said in her interviews that leaving the soap left her with a very strange feeling.
“I was feeling rather down the other day,”
“I thought, ‘what’s the matter? Why do I feel so sad?’ It’s almost as if I’ve been bereaved.”
“I’ve played two people simultaneously for 35 years. Really Dot wasn’t me, but spiritually she probably was.”
Just last year, the veteran actress revealed she was losing her sight after being diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration and could no longer recognize her friends.