Fans have been paying tribute to the actor June Brown, who has died at the age of 95, by sharing the heartwarming moment she met Lady Gaga.
Best known for her portrayal of Dot Cotton on EastEnders, Brown appeared on The Graham Norton Show in 2013 to promote her book. She featured alongside Greg Davies, Jude Law and Lady Gaga, who was there to perform her ‘Artpop’ tracks ‘Do What U Want’ and ‘Venus’.
Brown was introduced by Norton to the stage as someone “who has been a part of everyone’s family” since 1985. As she walked on with her dramatic fur coat and cigarette and sat down next to Lady Gaga, the pair appeared to instantly hit it off.
When Norton asked Lady Gaga if she had heard or was a fan of EastEnders, Brown replied: “Don’t say yes darling. If you’re not, you’re not and I don’t blame you.”
The singer then told Brown: “I actually am a really big fan of yours. You are so fabulously dressed and I am very honoured to be seated next to you.”
Gaga later picked up Brown’s glass of wine, before adding: “I want to drink from your cup to see what those genes are” in reply to Brown’s discussion about her age.
A statement from Brown’s family confirmed her passing on April 3. “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.”
Brown’s career spanned the stage and screen, with notable roles including Hedda Gabler and Lady Macbeth. She arrived in Albert Square as Dot Cotton in 1985, initially booked for three months but going on to stay on the programme for more than 35 years.
In 2008, Brown became the first actor to carry an entire episode of a UK soap. The episode, known as ‘Dot’s Monologue’ sees her character deliver an emotional retelling of her years as her husband lies in hospital following a stroke.
Tributes have been pouring in for the actor, with many fans making reference to her friendship with Lady Gaga. “Never forget when June Brown met Lady Gaga,” TV critic Scott Bryan said on Twitter. “Both = icons.” See more tributes below.
Never forget when June Brown met Lady Gaga.
Both = icons. pic.twitter.com/zlGkklNCg7
— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) April 4, 2022
June Brown meeting Lady Gaga remains a top-tier television moment. What a light we've lost. https://t.co/gF5AovLmz5
— David Chipakupaku 🏴🇿🇲 (@David_Chippa) April 4, 2022
June Brown meeting Lady Gaga on The Graham Norton Show will forever be one of the campest collisions of two pop culture ICONS.
BAFTA need to honour her with a posthumous award as compensation for her being robbed at the 2009 BAFTAs🥇 pic.twitter.com/ENWCQGO3Me
— Joe (@onlyjoekin_) April 4, 2022
— 𝐍𝐢𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐚 ☾ (@runawaylipstick) April 4, 2022
June Brown, amongst all her other wonderful human qualities and achievements, will be remembered as a tireless and fearless LGBT ally – especially during the darkest days of HIV/AIDS and Section 28… it was a privilege to know her
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) April 4, 2022
RIP June Brown honestly this woman’s career was amazing. If you grew up in an estate there was always a Dot Cotton. Absolute iconic character in Eastender 🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/5X0jBm00th
— Mo Gilligan (@MoTheComedian) April 4, 2022
An EastEnders spokesperson said: “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 2884 episodes, June’s remarkable performances created some of EastEnders finest moments.”