Barbara Windsor, best known for her roles in EastEnders and the Carry On films, has died aged 83.
One of Britain’s most beloved entertainment stars, Ms Windsor first found fame in her role in the Carry On films and later became a household name playing Peggy Mitchell, the Queen Vic’s landlady in BBC soap EastEnders.
Her husband Scott Mitchell confirmed in a statement that she had died peacefully at a London care home at 8:35pm on Thursday.
Ms Windsor was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and made the news public in 2018. She moved to a care home earlier this year.
Mr Mitchell said she would be remembered for the “love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives”.
He said the cherished actress’s final weeks were “typical of how she lived her life” and “full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end”.
“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.
“It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserves. 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.”
Mr Mitchell, who alongside his wife campaigned for greater dementia care from the Government, added: “Dementia/Alzheimer’s remains the UK’s number one killer. Although in challenging times, I urge the Prime Minister, his government and other parties to be true to their previous promises and invest more into dementia/Alzheimer’s research and care.
“Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and carers who are angels at the care home for your kindness and care to Barbara and I throughout her stay with you. You are my heroes.
“And my gratitude to our family, friends and everyone in the media and the general public for all the good wishes and warm support that has been shown to Barbara over the last few years during her illness. Barbara deeply appreciated that.”
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.
“I will be making no further statements and now need the time to grieve this painful, personal loss.”