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Dame Barbara Windsor dead at 83

Dame Barbara Windsor dead at 83
/ Cover Media

Beloved British actress Dame Barbara Windsor has died, aged 83.

The star, best known for her roles in TV soap EastEnders and the Carry On films, passed away peacefully after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's at a London care home on Thursday evening, according to her husband, Scott Mitchell.

She was diagnosed with the disease in 2014.

Windsor appeared as a bubbly character in nine of the 31 Carry On films, beginning with 1964's Carry On Spying and including the classic comedy Carry On Camping, and she also appeared in movie hits Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and On the Fiddle. In her later years she portrayed no-nonsense pub boss Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders.

After her dementia diagnosis, Dame Barbara became an ambassador for the Alzheimer's Society. She was honoured with a damehood in the 2016 New Year's Honours list for her services to charity and entertainment.

A statement from her husband reads: "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. It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve. 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."

Born in London in 1937, Windsor made her stage debut at the age of 12 and at 15 she was working in the chorus line of a London musical.

She made her film debut as a schoolgirl in 1954's The Belles of St. Trinian's and had a series of uncredited TV roles until she was cast as Mavis, opposite Sean Connery, in 1961's On The Fiddle.

Dame Barbara also appeared in the films Hair of the Dog, Death Trap, and Not Now Darling.

 

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