Dame Barbar Windsor, best known for her roles in Eastenders and the Carry On films, has died aged 83 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s.
Her husband Scott Mitchell reported the actress passed peacefully at a care home in London on Thursday evening.
She was one of Britain’s most treasured entertainment celebrities, and she first found stardom in her role as a voluptuous blonde in the Carry On films and thereafter became a household name playing Peggy Mitchell, the Queen Vic’s battle axe landlady in BBC soap Eastenders.
Dame Barbara Windsor was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and made the news public in 2018.
Her husband said the cherished actress’s closing weeks were illustrative of how she lived her life, full of drollery, excitement and fighting force until the end.
He said her death was from Alzheimer’s/dementia and Barbara finally passed peacefully and that he’d spent the last seven days by her side, and he said that relatives and friends would remember Barbara with love, a smile of affection for countless years because of her love, fun, friendship and brilliance she brought to all their lives and the entertainment she gave to so many thousands of others during her career.
He also said that he would always be extremely proud of Barbara’s bravery, dignity and generosity dealing with her affliction and still sought to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.
Mr Mitchell, who alongside his wife campaigned for greater dementia care from the Government and added that dementia/Alzheimer’s remains the UK’s number one killer and that he urged the Prime Minister and his Government and other parties in these challenging times to be true to their previous promises to invest more into dementia/Alzheimer’s research and care.
He said thank you to all the doctors, nurses and carers who were angels at the care home, and for their patience and care to Barbara and throughout her stay with them – they are his heroes.
And also his appreciation to their family, friends and everyone in the media and the general public for all the good wishes and affectionate support that had been conveyed to Barbara over the last few years during her illness, and that Barbara deeply appreciated it.
At the end of his moving tribute, Mr Mitchell said, may you rest in peace now my precious Bar. I’ve lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate and my heart or life will never feel the same without you.
Barbara Windsor was a true entertainer. The queen has gone, she’s had her last orders, but she did her very best to carry on and I don’t imagine that anyone will ever forget her name.