Dame Barbara Windsor, best recognised for her roles as Peggy Mitchell in British soap opera EastEnders and in the Carry On films, has passed away aged 83.
The veteran passed away peacefully at 8.35 pm on Thursday at a London care home with her husband Scott Mitchell by her side.
Mr Mitchell said her final weeks were “typical of how she lived her life”, being “full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end”.
In a moving tribute, he called her his “precious Bar” and said: “I’ve lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate and my heart or life will never feel the same without you.”
Eventhoyg Barbara’s friends, family members and husband Scott had rallied around her with love and support, she had become lonely during the coronavirus lockdown as she didn’t understand why no one was visiting her.
Scott moved Barbara into a care home earlier this year on the advice of her neurologist.
The actress spoke publicly about her condition in 2018, encouraging people to run the 2019 London Marathon in aid of Dementia Revolution, to “support ground-breaking research to find a cure for a condition that affects so many people, like me”.
In 1937 born Barbara Ann Deeks in 1937, she adopted the stage name Barbara Windsor in 1953 after being inspired by Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.
Babs started acting at just 13, after training at Aida Foster School in Golders Green.
Following some theatre roles, her film debut in 1954 saw her play a rebellious schoolgirl in The Belles of St Trinian’s.
From the 1950s to 2011, Barbara made theatre appearances around the country, appearing in pantomimes such as Aladdin, Dick Whittington and Cinderella.
In 1965, she was nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical at the Tony Awards.
Barbara became famous in the 1960s, with roles in the Carry On… films.
She would appear in nine of the bawdy comedies, from 1964 to 1977, and also starred in two years in the West End revue Carry On London!
But Barbara would become most famous for her role as no-nonsense matriarch Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders.
She played the pub landlady from 1994 to 2016 – a role for which she won two British Soap Awards: Best Actress in 1999 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
Peggy was best known for the phrase “Get Outta My Pub!”
Her EastEnders life consisted of numerous romances, manage the iconic Queen Vic pub, and even run for local government.
Although she first survived breast cancer, the character was omitted in 2016 as cancer returned and lead her to suicide, after an emotional week of episodes.
The beloved soap and film actor was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, going public with the news four years later.
A major loss for the British Television and film industry. May Barbara’s soul rest in peace.