Dame June Whitfield has died at the age of 93, her agent has confirmed.
The comic actor passed away peacefully on Friday night.
Dame June rose to prominence through roles in sitcoms ‘Terry and June’ and ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, and had myriad stage and screen credits to her name.
In the 1990s she appeared in American hit ‘Friends’, and more recently had a guest role in ‘EastEnders’.
Television producer, Jon Plowman, who worked on episodes of ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ and the 2016 film version, tweeted to say he was “very sad” to hear that Whitfield had died.
“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,” he said.
Broadcaster Danny Baker hailed Whitfield as “formidable, dependable, inimitable. A rock. A gem.”
Comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner also paid tribute to Dame June on Twitter, saying she was the “go-to comedy actress for three generations”.
“From 60s radio to 70s, 80s, even 90s TV. Always graceful and elegant with a real comic glint in her eye and (absolutely) fabulous timing,” he added.
In a statement, Shane Allen, controller of BBC Comedy, said: “June Whitfield was the North Star of British comedy.
“Her spectacular career is unparalleled in its longevity, with seven decades of being a key element in numerous high profile and successful shows.
“She was the go-to female comedy performer of her generation and was always in demand from the cream of British comedy.
“She led the way for female comedy and we owe her enormous respect. Our thoughts go out to family and friends at this sad time.”
And comedian Miranda Hart tweeted that Dame June Whitfield’s death was: “So very sad.”
She added: “I once sent a letter to many actors as a budding (I mean desperate) comedy actor to ask for sponsorship for the Edinburgh Festival.
“Dame June replied. Fifteen years later when I met her she had all my letters and the notes of the show she sponsored.
“I cried then too.”