Joanna Lumley pays tribute as Absolutely Fabulous co-star June Whitfield dies

June Whitfield 90 Not Out. June Whitfield

Dame June's rep said she "passed away peacefully last night".

She was always there, always being brilliant.

She was remembered by co-star Joanna Lumley as "brilliant and gorgeous".

Her worldwide fame grew when she was cast opposite Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley in the cult hit Absolutely Fabulous playing the mother of Saunders' character Edina Monsoon. The pair went on to have a daughter, Suzy, who followed in her mother's footsteps and became an actress.

At 92, she was made a dame. I always wanted you to know how in awe of you I was, however, you were always far too humble to accept my adoration. You were a great source of inspiration to me.

"I am heartbroken to lose such a darling friend and shall never forget her sensational talent, humour and her generosity to us all who had the joy of working with her on Ab Fab", she told ITV News.

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The London-born actress appeared on TV and radio for six decades and starred in more than 1300 radio and TV shows.

She said she had seen "a lot of change" in the course of her long career, notably that now "it's so much more about money".

In 1968, Whitfield and Terry Scott started their long TV partnership, including roles as husband and wife in Happy Ever After (1974-78) and Terry and June (1979-87). She also continued to appear on radio, voicing Agatha Christie's Miss Marple for nine years on the BBC Radio 4.

She also starred in USA sitcom Friends in 1998, where she played a housekeeper in an episode where Ross prepares to marry Emily, and Rachel makes a last minute flight to England to tell Ross she loves him and try to win him back.

One of June's most recent screen appearances came in 2016, when she played Sister Ruth in EastEnders. Always graceful & elegant with a real comic glint in her eye & (absolutely) fabulous timing'.

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