June Brown insisted that she was not afraid of dying and saw no point in worrying about it.


The irrepressible June Brown insisted in her final years that she was not afraid of dying.

So she refused to give up her longtime smoking habit, continued to drink wine and Guinness, and happily continued to eat the dark chocolate she was allergic to but adored.

“What’s the point of worrying?” she told Der Spiegel three years ago. “I could go to sleep tonight and not be here tomorrow. ‘Oh dear, June’s gone,’ they’d say.”

She wasn’t afraid, she explained, because she believed in life after death, had her Christian faith, and accepted that death was nothing to fear. Life, however, was a different matter.

Because the OBE, MBE and BAFTA winner, who became a national treasure with the EastEnders role she won just before her 60th birthday, knew better than anyone that it was life in which the darkest demons lurked.

June Brown is best known for her role as Dot Cotton on EastEnders


BBC/Jack Barnes)

Despite the polished smile of the actress, who’s been a part of British life as reliably as fish and chips or April chills, June had had more than her fair share of heartbreak.

While stoically denying that her life had been tragic, she suffered early and repeated losses – first her beloved sister Marise (known as Micie) in childhood, then her first husband, later a baby with her second, and finally she was widowed 2003 again.

And so for decades loneliness was her greatest fear, which manifested itself in numerous love affairs and a nagging need for affection.

In her 2013 autobiography, Before The Year Dot, she wrote, “Too dependent, I found it impossible to be happy on my own. I was constantly in love and always looking for the kind of care Micie had given me – the wholehearted acceptance of me for who I was. I kept looking for the friend I had lost.”

The star was born on February 16, 1927 in rural Suffolk. Her mother was of East Ender origin and, like the actress on the BBC1 show Who Do You Think You Are?

The actor sadly passed away at the age of 95


(Getty Images)

June had previously said that she was not afraid of death



June was one of five children — although she lost a brother to pneumonia as a baby — in a family that lived above her father’s electronics store.

The event that would change her character came when she was seven and Marise eight.

One night in 1934, Marise woke up with an earache. Just days later, she was taken to the hospital for nipple surgery, and June never saw her again. June believed the infection had taken hold. Her sister contracted meningitis and died.

June fondly recalled in her autobiography, “I can see myself standing in front of the classroom at school and saying to my teacher, Miss Downing, in a very ordinary voice, ‘Micie died yesterday’.”

She could never endure the smell of chrysanthemums or the flowers on her sister’s grave.

After the tragedy, her father’s drinking and parents’ physical altercations ended the marriage, and her mother, a milliner, left with the remaining children.

June had trained as an actor at a young age



During the Second World War, June was first evacuated to Wales, then served with the Wrens in her final years.

She later trained at the Old Vic Theater School and embarked on a successful stage career, including with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in roles such as Lady Macbeth and Hedda Gabler.

With a delicate profile and striking dark hair, she was not short of admirers. Actor Nigel Hawthorne called her “one of the most beautiful creatures I’ve seen on stage”.

For June, relationships with men became a way to fill the void left by her sister. At 14, she fell in love for the first time with the family’s lodger, 10 years her senior, Belgian Ralph Latimer, who worked with her father.

When he went to war, she held a torch for three years, although he never wrote back. Maybe it became another gap to be filled.

She has been open about her open approach to sex. During the war she enjoyed affairs, once pretending to be married to a naval second lieutenant in order to stay with him in his barracks.

She admitted to three affairs with married lovers. One was actor Edward Jewesbury, with whom she slept in a field when she was 21 and was almost late for a performance.

June with her first husband John Garley



She married her first husband, actor Johnny Garley, in 1953 but again experienced the most traumatic tragedy when he took his own life in 1957.

At first, their relationship had been full of fun. June recalled hiding Johnny in her boarding house while on tour before their wedding.

But the couple both had affairs, and although they confessed their mistakes, the marriage was never fully repaired. Johnny threatened suicide several times, and when he took his own life in her bed while June was away, she blamed himself. Worn out by his depression, she had gone out to spend the evening with a friend.

She returned home to find him unconscious next to a suicide note. She dragged him out of bed, but he died in the hospital.

She initially claimed she went out to do the ironing, although later in life she confessed the truth, admitting, “I should never have left him. But I was tired. I couldn’t take it anymore.”

She said the fact that she “found it hard to be alone” prompted her to marry a second time soon after.

June with her late husband Robert Arnold and five of their children in 1968


Wake up)

Just a few months after Johnny’s death, she met actor Bob Arnold, who starred in Dixon of Dock Green. She said, “His strength and calm were reassuring.”

They married in April 1958 and although the actress later revealed that Bob was rarely affectionate, the couple had six children together. June once said, “The process of starting a family was a bit like opening the clothes dryer and finding more clothes than you put in it!”

But more losses were to follow. Daughter Chloe was premature at 28 weeks and did not survive.

The couple separated for a time before later reuniting until Bob died in 2003 from Lewy body dementia, a progressive form of the condition.

Their split coincided with a hiatus in June’s career, and for a time she struggled to make ends meet.

The stage actress began trying her hand in television, appearing in three episodes of Coronation Street in 1970-71 and Play For Today in 1971, as well as Doctor Who and Minder. But when EastEnders came knocking in 1985, it was a lifeline.

June has become a popular part of British television over the past few decades thanks to her role on EastEnders



She said: “The year before I was offered the role of Dot was my worst experience – things were getting more and more desperate.”

June became the most classically trained star in the BBC1 soap opera cast. Her career there catapulted her to a household name that lasted until her death at the age of 95.

She used her profile for good causes, specifically gay rights. In 2012 she became the inaugural patron of the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus and performed with the group at the Brighton Dome.

The actress didn’t retire until 2020, despite suffering from macular degeneration that nearly led to blindness.

In 2019, she admitted, “I haven’t driven a car in years and I can’t really go out socially because of my eyesight.” EastEnders, she said, used “large fonts” in her scripts.

“They are very friendly and people give me wonderful concessions,” she said. “I hope I’m worth it. Well, I suppose if it wasn’t me they wouldn’t bother, would they?”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/june-brown-revealed-wasnt-afraid-26635301 June Brown insisted that she was not afraid of dying and saw no point in worrying about it.

Fry Electronics Team

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