Dame Barbara Windsor: A “national treasure" who was ”warm and welcoming” - star tributes to the late EastEnders actress

Barbara Windsor
(Image credit: Getty)

Heartfelt tributes to Dame Barbara Windsor have been flooding in after news of her death, aged 83.

Heartfelt tributes to Dame Barbara Windsor (opens in new tab) have been shared on social media by her former Eastenders co-stars and the wider acting community.

The bubbly Carry On actress passed away last night in the care home she was staying in (opens in new tab), with husband Scott Mitchell by her bedside.

In the 90s Dame Barbara was most renowned for her role as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders who coined the iconic phrase “Get outta my pub!” when she made her debut in the BBC One soap in 1994.

Steve McFaddon played her on-screen son Phil Mitchell said he was left feeling “devastated” by the news of her death.

Dame Barbara Windsor Eastenders cast with the award for TV Soap of the year during the 2017 Television and Radio Industries Club Awards, Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London

(Image credit: PA)

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Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale, shared a throwback photo of him with Dame Barbara, he said, "I grew up watching Babs in the Carrie On films and for me then to work with her it was a privilege and honour. I have so many happy memories and moments that I will always cherish, even when Peggy floored Ian with a punch."

Patsy Palmer, who played Bianca Jackson, said, "We were like family for a long time, ups downs, ins and outs, but you will never meet a more professional actress than Babs... I can hear that laugh now as I sit and think about her. I hope it'll ring in my ears forever."

Meanwhile, Danniella Westbrook, 47, who played Peggy’s daughter Sam, paid tribute on Twitter, “Today we lost a legend, a national treasure and a woman who I looked up to for most of my life. A generous, warm, funny, humble and beautiful lady and someone who gave us all much joy watching her act. A woman who I was lucky enough to work with for many years as my mum and a loyal friend. The brightest of all stars will now shine above us instead of among us.”

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Barbara touched the lives of Albert Square stars both past and present.

Martin Kemp, who played Steve Owen tweeted, "Barbara Windsor, what an honour it was to work with you. What a lesson it was watching your humility on set. What a pleasure it was getting to know you. One of life’s wonderful, colourful beautiful people.. My heart goes out to Scott and everyone who will miss you Sleep well M," followed with a love heart emoji.

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Former EastEnders actor Ricky Norwood wrote, "Such sad news to wake up to. I was lucky enough to work with her on @bbceastenders .. full of energy, Big smile, so warm and welcoming. Thank you x It meant a lot. Loved that you always had time for young actors and fans. Legend. We miss you already."

Dame Barbara's EastEnders co-star Lucy Benjamin posted on Instagram, "What a sad sad day. Rip my darlin Babs. You were a true star in every sense."

I’m A Celebrity 2020 contestant and former soap star Shane Richie has paid tribute. "I'm absolutely devastated as Barbara was a friend as well as my TV Boss in the Queen Vic," he said. "We shared many a story in between filming - to amazement of situations (we found ourselves in) to laughter!”

And even stars from rival soap Coronation Street were in awe of the actresses. Jane Danson, who plays Leanne Battersby in the ITV soap tweeted, "So sad to hear the news Dame Barbara Windsor has passed away. Always remember meeting her at the Albert hall for NTA’s 1998 - she said, 'It's the Battersby girls, hello darlings’ I was absolutely made up."

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And former Coronation Street star and Loose Woman panelist, Sherrie Hewson shared, "The truly wonderful Barbara Windsor . She brought such joy and happiness to everyone’s lives . An amazing story. Now she was a star and will twinkle for ever. Just fabulous."

Icon Joanna Lumley, paid tribute, sharing a throwback photo and captioned it, "So sad to hear about the passing of the gorgeous Dame Barbara Windsor. She’ll be missed by all. Thinking of her husband Scott & all her family, friends at this sad time."

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Barbara's funeral details are not yet known, and coronavirus restrictions are likely to impact the number of people who can attend to pay their respects to the beloved star. But it look like her memory will live on in those who both loved her and looked up to her.

Selina Maycock
Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.