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Dame June Whitfield dies aged 93

Dame June Whitfield’s agent says the actor died peacefully in her sleep on Friday night, aged 93. Absolutely Fabulous writer and star Jennifer Saunders paid tribute to the “extraordinary grace” of her co-star, who played her hilarious mother in the show. Saunders said: “It’s so tremendously sad to lose June. I will always be grateful that she agreed to be in Ab Fab.”

“Everything June did was perfectly measured. She was so loved and I will miss her hugely.”

Dame June’s Ab Fab granddaughter Julia Sawalha said she was a “great source of inspiration” and Joanna Lumley said  she was “heartbroken to lose such a darling friend”, who would “always have a most special place in my heart”.

June Whitfield’s career in TV and radio spanned six decades, appearing in Carry On films, EastendersAbsolutely Fabulous and of course Terry and June. Having worked with Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd, Ronnie Barker, Benny Hill, Bob Monkhouse and Tommy Cooper, Impressionist Rory Bremner referred to her as the “go-to comedy actress for three generations”. Absolutely Fabulous producer Jon Plowman tweeted: “Very sad at the news of the death of the wonderful June Whitfield . There was no-one with more warmth or a better ability to just “place” a line, always an act of utter precision. Hit after hit! Take it from Here Terry and June Absolutely Fabulous over seven decade. A great loss”