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11th Dec 2020

EastEnders and Carry On legend Barbara Windsor dies aged 83

Niamh Maher

The actress passed away peacefully on Thursday evening.

Beloved British actress Dame Barbara Windsor, best known for her starring turn in the Carry On films and Eastenders, has passed away at the age of 83. Her husband Scott Mitchell released a statement saying she died peacefully from Alzheimer’s at a London care home on Thursday evening. Dame Barbara had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease back in 2014 and had moved to a care home earlier this year.

Mr Mitchell said he had spent the last seven days by her side and reminded people of how cruel a disease Alzheimer’s can be saying it was, “not  the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve”, he added, “I will always be immensely proud of Barbara’s courage, dignity and generosity dealing with her own illness and still trying to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.”

Tributes have been flooding in for the actress on social media. Danniella Westbrook, who played her on-screen daughter Sam Mitchell in EastEnders, tweeted: “MY HEART IS BROKEN. Bar you will always be in my heart forever. Good bye , I LOVE YOU XXX RIP Barbara WINDSOR.”

Windsor’s career began on stage in 1950 at the age of 13 and she made her film debut in The Belles of St. Trinian’s in 1954. Her breakout success however, came in the form of the Carry On films, she found fame while starring in nine of the comedy films throughout the 60s and 70s.

Despite her successful film career, audiences will perhaps remember her best for her role as the Queen Vic’s landlord in BBC’s hit soap EastEnders, Windsor played Peggy Mitchell from 1994 till she retired in 2009.

In her later years, Windsor campaigned to raise awareness of dementia and she was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to charity and entertainment.