Jennifer Saunders hails “extraordinary grace” of late Ab Fab co-star Dame June Whitfield

June’s death was confirmed on Saturday

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Jennifer Saunders has paid tribute to Absolutely Fabulous co-star Dame June Whitfield after the actress passed away at 93.

Responding to the death of her “dear friend”, Jennifer said she will miss June “hugely”.

The 60-year-old, who created Ab Fab in the early 90s, said in a statement : “It’s so tremendously sad to lose June. I will always be grateful that she agreed to be in Ab Fab and even more grateful that she became a dear friend.

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“She lived and worked with an extraordinary grace. Everything June did was perfectly measured. She was so loved and I will miss her hugely.”

June’s death was confirmed on Saturday (December 29) by her agent, who said the star died peacefully on Friday night.

June Whitfield (Credit: Andy Barnes / Flynet – SplashNews)

Fellow Ab Fab actress Joanna Lumley was among those leading tributes.

She told ITV News she is “heartbroken” to have lost “such a darling friend” and went on to praise June’s “sensational talent, humour and her generosity”.

Other stars offered their thoughts for June, including comedian Julian Clary, who told Twitter followers he “adored” the late actress.

David Walliams hailed June’s “incredible career” and said the star was “always being brilliant”.

Julia Sawalha, who appeared in Ab Fab as June’s on-screen granddaughter Saffron, thanked her on Twitter and said she was “in awe” of her.

Helen Lederer, who played Catriona in Ab Fab, tweeted:

June was well-known for her part in Absolutely Fabulous but her glittering career spanned eight decades, starting in 1953 with a role in BBC radio comedy Take It From Here.

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley starred in Ab Fab alongside June (Credit: FameFlynet)

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Her other notable roles included a number of appearances in the Carry On films.

June was made a dame in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to drama and entertainment.

Speaking at the time, she told the Press Association: “It’s absolutely remarkable. One feels so honoured and proud.”

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