EastEnders and Carry On star Dame Barbara Windsor has died, aged 83

Friday, 11th December 2020, 9:17 am
Updated Friday, 11th December 2020, 10:18 am

Dame Barbara Windsor, best known for her roles in EastEnders and the Carry On films, has died, aged 83.

Her husband, Scott Mitchell, said she had died from Alzheimer’s disease at a London care home on the evening of Thursday 10 December.

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‘A fighting spirit until the end’

The actress - who appeared in nine of the 31 films in the comedy series, Carry On - was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, and moved to a care home earlier this year.

Dame Barbara was also well known to millions for her role as landlady Peggy Mitchell in soap opera EastEnders. Her last appearance on the programme was in 2016, the same year she was made a dame for her services to both charity and entertainment.

In a statement, Mr Mitchell said, “It is with deep sadness that I can confirm that my darling wife Barbara passed away at 8.35pm on Thursday 10 December at a London care home.

“Her passing was from Alzheimer’s/dementia and Barbara eventually died peacefully and I spent the last seven days by her side.

“Myself, her family and friends will remember Barbara with love, a smile and affection for the many years of her love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives and the entertainment she gave to so many thousands of others during her career.

“Barbara’s final weeks were typical of how she lived her life. Full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end.”

Raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease

Mr Mitchell also touched upon Dame Barbara’s fight against the disease, and her efforts in raising awareness of the condition.

“It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserves,” 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.”

After her dementia diagnosis, Dame Barbara became an ambassador for the Alzheimer's Society and strove to raise more awareness about the disease.

The actress met Prime Minister Boris Johnson in order to raise more awareness of the disease, delivering a letter signed by 100,000 people pleading for better care for those affected by dementia.

The Alzheimer's Society said it was "incredibly grateful" to both Dame Barbara and her husband for their work raising awareness of the disease.

In a statement, the charity said, "Dame Barbara Windsor was an amazingly true, much-loved national treasure, and in speaking out about her experiences shone like a beacon for others affected by dementia."