Watch: The touching moment Lady Gaga and June Brown became best friends
First, it was Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli melting our hearts. Now, it’s Gaga and soap star, June Brown.
Best known for playing Dot Cotton on the BBC soap, EastEnders, June Brown was easily one of the most recognisable faces on TV. Famed as the show’s beloved chain-smoking hypochondriac, she was an Albert Square mainstay for more than three decades and understandably ame to be a huge part of people’s lives during that time.
Cementing her status as true television royalty, the veteran actor retained “huge popular affection” throughout her 35 years on the show, and her absence will be greatly felt by both fans and colleagues alike. Revealing the sad news that June had passed away, aged 95, at her home in Surrey, an EastEnders spokesperson said that everyone was “deeply saddened” by the loss.
“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,” the statement continued.
“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.”
Wanting to remember the legendary actor in death as she was in life, fans have been sharing their fondest memories of June and one particular clip has really resonated with the public – that of June meeting Lady Gaga for the first time.
Both guests on The Graham Norton Show, Graham introduces June as a huge Gaga fan, before welcoming her onto the stage to join his other guests which include Jude Law and comedian Greg Davies. “Talking of fans of Lady Gaga, there is another one in the building,” Graham tells the audience. “Yes, since 1985, this lady has been a part of everyone’s family as EastEnders’ Dot Cotton. Please welcome the unique June Brown.”
On walks June, greeting everyone before she sits down in the coveted first seat. “Oh my gosh she has a purse and e-cigarette, it’s too fabulous. I can’t,” Gaga gushes before turning to June and saying, “You look so amazing”… a compliment which June responds to by pulling up her skirt slightly to reveal a pair of red tights and saying, “Well I thought I had to outdo her, you know.” And the friendship only developed from there with the duo even sharing a glass of wine at one point.
“I’m sorry Graham, is this happening or have I been taking drugs?” Davies asks, essentially saying what we’re all thinking.
It was a match made in heaven though as Jude later pointed out and Gaga even invited June out clubbing in London after. “She saw me sitting on my own and came back, dropped the whole Gaga thing and invited me to a nightclub,” June told The Daily Star after the fact. “Sadly, I couldn’t make it, but I thought what a charming and talented girl.”
The fact someone needs to notify Lady Gaga about the death of our June Brown. She’s going to be inconsolable. The tribute performance is coming pic.twitter.com/nz0TQjKww4
— Shirley Carter’s Pussy (@pussy_shirley) April 4, 2022
I’ve seen a few Tweets about Lady Gaga being kind to Liza and Tony Bennett. I’d also like to add to proceedings her sweet little friendship with June Brown. Gaga helping June take off her coat and marvelling at her tights, handbag and cigarette was ???’s ? pic.twitter.com/OREtZZYChV
— MELLY (@mellyfratelli) March 28, 2022
It’s not the first time that Gaga has been praised for her interactions with older entertainers either and earlier last month, fans melted over the very sweet moment between her and Cabaret star Liza Minnelli.
Though much of the positivity at this year’s 94th Academy Awards was overshadowed by the Will Smith/Chris Rock discourse, the gorgeous exchange between the two women was one of the ceremony’s saving graces.
Appearing on stage together to present the award for Best Picture, thunderous applause could be heard reverberating around the room as Gaga looks at Liza and says, “You see that? The public, they love you.”
Giving the Hollywood legend the standing ovation she so deserved, the occasion was momentous for many reasons, not least because it marked 50 years since Liza herself had won an Oscar for her performance in the 1972 musical drama Cabaret.
Appearing to get a little flustered by the attention and seemingly losing her place in her cue cards, Gaga stepped in to give Minnelli time to find her bearings again. “Good evening,” she can be heard saying to the onlooking crowd of A-listers. “You know how I love working with legends and I am honoured to present the final award of the evening with a true showbusiness legend. She’s celebrating the 50th anniversary of Cabaret, Oscar-winning actress, Liza Minnelli.”
The singer then passes the baton back over to Liza who proceeds to introduce this year’s Best Picture nominees – but not before Gaga leans down and comfortingly whispers, “I got you”, into Liza’s ear, to which she immediately responds, “I know”.
A few moments later, the House of Gucci star breaks into song, singling a line from the Cabaret tune “Willkommen”, while Minnelli gushes that she’s “so happy to be here”. “Especially with you,” she tells Gaga. “I’m your biggest fan.” Then, they open the prestigious red envelope to announce Coda as the 2022 Best Picture winner and the crowd erupts into applause once again.
Seen laughing, holding hands and stealing fond glances at each other while on stage together, it’s clear that the two women have great affinity for one another and the moment has not gone unnoticed on social media – even amidst all the other noise and chaos.
The Oscars moment we should be talking about, many commended Gaga for how she looked out for Liza with such care. However as many fans have already pointed out, the performer has a reputation for always taking the time to lovingly connect with those she works with and did the same with jazz singer Tony Bennett – who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease – when she collaborated with him late last year.
Say what you want about Lady Gaga but you have to respect a performer at the top of their game who takes the time to lovingly connect with and celebrate elders like Tony Bennett and Liza Minnelli in the way she does.
— Lane Wood (@lanewood) March 28, 2022
“He is a remarkable human being. He served our country, he also marched with Dr Martin Luther King Jr., he used to sneak Duke Ellington into the back of hotels to play jazz music all night long,” she once said of Bennett in an interview with The Last Show With Stephen Colbert. “His commitment to civil rights, and to humanity, is something that he has taught me from a young age to take with me in all that I do. I love him very deeply.”
When @ladygaga said "I got you" to Liza Minelli today, she was only honoring her feelings of adoration and admiration for this incredible diva.
— LADY NYNA PERIGOSA (@nynagermanotta) March 28, 2022
Gaga has made no secret of her admiration for Liza over the years either and the two first met back in 2011 when she invited the actress to one of her shows in Madison Square Garden.
According to Minnelli’s former publicist, Scott Gorenstein, she’s is even responsible for orchestrating the iconic pairing and he told People that Gaga personally requested Liza be there to present the award with her.
How do we go about becoming Lady Gaga’s next best friend?!