EastEnders legend Dame Barbara Windsor dies aged 83

Barbara Windsor
(Image credit: Getty)

Dame Barbara Windsor has died "peacefully" with husband Scott Mitchell at her bedside.

Dame Barbara Windsor has died, aged 83, following a  six-year battle with dementia.

The iconic actress, who became a household name following her roles in Carry On films and BBC One soap Eastenders, passed away last night at at 8.35pm, with husband Scott Mitchell at her bedside of the London care home where she was staying.

Heartbroken, Scott led the tributes to the star, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014 before going public in 2018. He and called her his "precious Bar" and added, "I've lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate."

READ MORE: Barbara Windsor opens up about her decision not to have children

Dame Barbara windsor and husband Scott Mitchell

(Image credit: Getty)

"Her passing was from Alzheimer's/dementia and Barbara eventually died peacefully and I spent the last seven days by her side," Scott told PA.

"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."

READ MORE: Alzheimer’s sufferer Barbara Windsor’s husband reveals she ‘comes back’ when watching EastEnders

Dame Barbara Windsor and Queen Elizabeth II behind the bar in the Queen Vic on set at Elstree Studios

(Image credit: Getty)

Scott and Barbara went public with the illness in 2018 in a bid to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s to help other families who have loved-ones battling the disease

He continued, "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. 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."

Dame Barbara was a star of stage and screen since she was just 12 years old and enjoyed a career spanning nearly six decades. She was awarded a Damehood in 2016 for services to showbusiness and charity.

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And in 2019, Dame Barbara and Scott became the faces of Dementia Revolution – a joint campaign between Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society – as Charity of the Year for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.

The year-long campaign, leading up to race day on Sunday 28 April 2019, raised an incredible £4 million, making it one of the most successful Charity of the Year partnerships in the history of the London Marathon.

Scott ran the marathon as part of Barbara’s Revolutionaries – a team of friends and EastEnders cast members – helping to raise over £150,000 to fund pioneering research at the UK Dementia Research Institute.

Tim Parry, Director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said, “We’re devastated to learn of the death of Dame Barbara and our hearts and condolences go out to her husband Scott and the family.

“We will all remember Dame Barbara’s warmth and effervescence, but Alzheimer’s Research UK and thousands affected by dementia will be forever grateful for her dignified contribution to dementia campaigning in her final years.

“Dame Barbara’s work in helping to rally support and demystify an often-misunderstood condition made a difference to us and many others and further adds to her legacy as a one of the nation’s favourites. She was a friend to our charity, and we are desperately sad to lose her.”

June Brown was a dear friend of the late Barbara Windsor who died aged 83, following a battle with Dementia. At the time June described her emotional last meeting with Barbara and said, “she’ll always be alive in my mind”. June Brown has since died aged 95.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)