Barbara Windsor dead: EastEnders legend dies aged 83 after battle with dementia

Barbara Windsor exits EastEnders in 2016 episode

Dame Barbara Windsor, 83, is best known for her role as Peggy Mitchell in the BBC One soap EastEnders. The Carry On actress was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago, but her husband Scott Mitchell, 57, only spoke out about the news in 2018.

The news of her death comes just months after it was announced the actress was placed into a care home in July.

Scott had previously opened up about his wife’s struggles with her health.

He also revealed that the former Carry On actress was forced to self-isolate due to the Covid-19 but was hopeful she would be able to settle in with the other residents soon.

The small-screen star initially had a carer for the first few weeks who was on hand 24 hours a day.

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Scott paid emotional tribute to the star in a statement to PA news agency.

He 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.”

The former actor added: “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 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.”

Barbara first joined the cast of EastEnders in 1994 and won the 1999 British Soap Award for Best Actress, before ultimately leaving the show in 2016.

Her acting career began in 1950 at the age of 13 and she made her first film debut in The Belle’s of St Trinian’s in 1954.

Between 1964 and 1974, she appeared in nine Carry On films, including Carry On Spying, Carry On Doctor and Carry On Abroad.

Barbara went onto to have a successful television and film career starring in numerous roles including A Study In Terror, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Alice In Wonderland.

The legendary actress was appointed Dame in the 2016 New Year Honours list for services to charity and entertainment.


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Scott, who married Barbara in 2000, previously opened up about the decision to move Barbara into a care home.

“I feel I’m on an emotional rollercoaster. I walk around, trying to keep busy, then burst into tears,” he explained.

“It feels like a bereavement. It’s always been my biggest fear, that one day I would have to take her somewhere and she would be thinking, ‘Why would he do this to me?’ That fear has become a reality. It’s something that I never wanted.”

Dame Barbara was diagnosed with the irreversible, progressive memory disorder in 2014.

The star’s husband previously spoke with and revealed the struggles Dame Barbara has faced since her diagnosis.

Scott said: “I can’t leave Barbara by herself anymore. Life has changed drastically for her and of course that reflects on our whole life together. It’s really been overwhelming.

“[At the time] Barbara wasn’t really talking about it or accepting it which is a common thing for people living with Alzheimer’s.”

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