Dame Barbara Windsor dies aged 83

Dame Barbara Windsor, best known for her roles in EastEnders and the Carry On films, has died aged 83, her husband told the PA news agency.

One of Britain's most beloved entertainment stars, she first found fame in her role as a buxom blonde in the Carry On films and later became a household name playing Peggy Mitchell, the Queen Vic's battle-axe landlady in BBC soap EastEnders.

Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014 and made the news public in 2018.

She died at 8.35pm on Thursday at a London care home, her husband Scott Mitchell told PA.

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Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) is watched by actress Barbara Windsor (L) as she speaks on the telephone at the annual ICAP charity day in the City of London December 3, 2013. REUTERS/Paul Grover/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS SOCIETY ROYALS)
British actor Bernard Bresslaw, dressed as Father Bernard is shown with actress Barbara Windsor around May 21, 1972. They are both appearing in the British comedy film series "Carry on Abroad" now in production at Pinewood Studios, England. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
British comedy actor Sid James gets a friendly farewell cuddle from his British co-star Barbara Windsor as they complete the last day of shooting of the film "Carry On Girls", at Pinewood Studios, England, May 25, 1973. (AP Photo/Robert Dear)
Britain's Prince Charles shares a joke with actress Barbara Windsor, right, and Kelly Osbourne, center, as Kelly's mother Sharon Osbourne looks on, backstage during filming of the Royal Variety Performance at the London Coliseum, in central London, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2004. (AP Photo/Chris Young/Pool)
British actress Barbara Windsor arrives for the Royal World Premiere of the movie Alice in Wonderland in Leicester Square, London, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Barbara Windsor is seen posing with Pudsey the Bear on arriving for the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchell attend the after party following the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Barbara Windsor, left and Anneka Rice attend the after party following the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchel arrive for the opening night of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a new stage musical based on Roald Dahl's popular story about Willy Wonka and his amazing Chocolate Factory, at the Drury Lane Theatre in central London, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, centre, rides with television personalities Barbara Windsor , second right and journalist Alastair Stewart, right, on a 1960's Routemaster bus, on route to meeting London Poppy Day staff and volunteers in London Thursday Nov. 7, 2013. Accompanied by Prince William, the couple surprised hundreds of commuters, as they joined poppy sellers at a London Tube station. (AP Photo/Carl Court, Pool)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, left and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge third right, ride with television personality Barbara Windsor, second right, on a 1960's Routemaster bus, on route to meeting London Poppy Day staff and volunteers in London Thursday Nov. 7, 2013. Accompanied by Prince William, the couple surprised hundreds of commuters, as they joined poppy sellers at a London Tube station. (AP Photo/Carl Court, Pool)
British Prime Minister David Cameron, talks to British actress Barbara Windsor outside 10 Downing Street during a event to mark the annual Poppy Day appeal in London, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. The symbolic Poppies are sold each year prior to Armistice Day, Nov 11, to raise money in aid of armed forces veterans. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
British actress Barbara Windsor poses for photographers with a map as she hands out leaflets and maps at Piccadilly Circus, to welcome visitors from around the world to London, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Barbara Windsor joined volunteers from the Team London Visitor Welcome program helping visitors to the capital this summer get the most out of their trip. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
British actress Barbara Windsor poses for photographers with her husband Scott Mitchell at Piccadilly Circus, in London, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Barbara Windsor MBE joined volunteers from theTeam London Visitor Welcome programme helping visitors to the capital this summer get the most out of their trip. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
British actress Barbara Windsor (L) and London Mayor Boris Johnson play sitting volleyball at the London 2012 Paralympic Games August 31, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS VOLLEYBALL POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Britain's Prince Charles (L) speaks with actress Barbara Windsor at the Royal World Premiere of "Alice In Wonderland" in London February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ian West/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS)
June Brown (L) and Barbara Windsor (R) arrive for the British Academy Television Awards 2009 at the Royal Festival Hall in London April 26, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN ENTERTAINMENT)
British actress Barbara Windsor (R) and British comedian David Walliams arrive in costume for the reception following the civil partnership ceremony of British television and stand-up comedian Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee, in central London December 17, 2006.REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)
British actress Barbara Windsor (R) and British comedian David Walliams arrive in costume for the reception following the civil partnership ceremony of British television and stand-up comedian Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee, in central London December 17, 2006.REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)
East Enders star Barbara Windsor (L) joins comedian Ronnie Corbett in saluting the Queen from a parade float during Golden Jubilee celebrations June 4, 2002. REUTERS/Chris Helgren CLH/
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) walks around the set of BBC soap opera Eastenders with actress Barbara Windsor, November 28, 2001. The Queen has spent a day touring various broadcasting facilities including the set of long running sopa opera Eastenders and the news room of ITN before going on to see a rehersal of popular childrens television programme Blue Peter.
Barbara Windsor poses for photographers upon arrival at the Pride of Britain Awards 2015 in London, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
British actress Barbara Windsor gestures to the media as she poses with actress Lacey Turner, second left, and two members of the armed forces outside 10 Downing Street during a event to mark the annual Poppy Day in London, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Poppies are sold each year prior to Armistice Day, Nov 11, in aid of armed forces veterans. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
British actress Barbara Windsor arrives for the Royal World Premiere of the movie Alice in Wonderland in Leicester Square, London, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
British comedy actor Bernard Bresslaw, dressed in a cassock for the film Carry On Abroad, being filmed at Pinewood Studios, Iver, May 21, 1972, smiles at British comedy actress Barbara Windsor as she pops out of his attire. (AP Photo/Staff/Bob Dear)
Barbara Windsor is seen posing with Pudsey the Bear on arriving for the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Britain's Catherine (L), Duchess of Cambridge, rides with television personalities Barbara Windsor (R) and Alastair Stewart on a 1960’s Routemaster bus during a Royal British Legion Poppy Day event in London November 7, 2013. REUTERS/Carl Court/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS SOCIETY)
Britain's Prince Charles (L) speaks with actress Barbara Windsor at the Royal World Premiere of "Alice In Wonderland" in London February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ian West/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS)
British actress Barbara Windsor (R) and British comedian David Walliams arrive in costume for the reception following the civil partnership ceremony of British television and stand-up comedian Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee, in central London December 17, 2006.REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) walks around the set of BBC soap opera Eastenders with actress Barbara Windsor, November 28 2001. The Queen has spent a day touring various broadcasting facilities including the set of long running sopa opera Eastenders and the news room of ITN [before going on to see a rehearsal of popular childrens television programme Blue Peter.]
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets stars of the BBC television soap opera Eastenders Barbara Windsor who plays [barmaid Peggy Mitchell] (C) and June Brown (L), who plays [Dot Cotton] during her visit to set in London November 28 2001. The Queen and [the Duke of Edinburgh] tour broadcast facilities in London.
Embargoed to 0001 Thursday February 14 File photo dated 28/9/2015 of Dame Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchell, as Mr Mitchell has urged people to check for the early signs of dementia in loved ones on Valentine's Day.
Barbara Windsor at the laying of the final poppy at the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins at the Tower of London.
Sir Bruce Forsyth and Barbara Windsor at the 30 year reunion of the cast and crew of 'The Talk of the Town', at the Hippodrome Casion, in Leicester Square, central London.
Barbara Windsor and husband Scott Mitchell arriving for the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London.
Judith Chalmers and Barbara Windsor attend the �20 Million Opening of the Galleries of Modern London at the Museum of London, London, 27th May 2010.
Sir Michael Caine and Barbara Windsor attend the �20 Million Opening of the Galleries of Modern London at the Museum of London, London, 27th May 2010.
Barbara Windsor arrives for the Royston Blythe salon opening party at the Dorchester on Park Lane, central London.
Barbara Windsor (left) and Scott Mitchell (right) arrive at the premiere of Is Anybody There? Curzon Cinema, Mayfair, London.
EMBARGOED UNTIL 0001 SATURDAY JULY 12, 2008. Barbara Windsor playing Grant Mitchell in Carry On Eastenders in a sketch for the Sunday Night Project (TX: Sunday July 13, 2008 @ 2200).
EMBARGOED UNTIL 0001 SATURDAY JULY 12, 2008. Barbara Windsor playing Phil Mitchell in Carry On Eastenders in a sketch for the Sunday Night Project (TX: Sunday July 13, 2008 @ 2200).
Ladies from the cast of Eastenders, left to right, Kellie Shirley, Barbara Windsor, Emma Barton, Jo Joyner, Kara Tointon and Nina Wadia receive the award for Most Popular Serial Drama back stage during the National Television Awards 2007, Royal Albert Hall, London.
Barbara Windsor arrives for the British Academy Television Awards, held at the London Palladium, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday 20 May 2007. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Barbara Windsor arriving at the National Television Awards 2006, the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Actress Barbara Windsor arrives for the European premiere of Beyond The Sea, at the Vue West End in London's Leicester Square.
Kelly Holmes and Barbara Windsor before meeting The Prince of Wales backstage at the London Coliseum, in central London, Tuesday December 14, 2004 after the Royal Variety Performance. Anwar Hussein/allactiondigital.com
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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".

Mr Mitchell said: "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.

"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."

Barbara Windsor

Mr Mitchell, who alongside his wife campaigned for greater dementia care from the Government, added: "Dementia/Alzheimer's remains the UKs 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."

Dame Barbara made her debut as Peggy in 1994 and soon became one of the small screen's best-loved characters as she yelled at rogue drinkers to "get outta my pub!".

Barbara Windsor open letter to PM

It became the defining role of her career and saw her star alongside Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden as her fictional sons Grant and Phil, with the late Mike Reid as her on-screen husband Frank Butcher.

The character left our screens in 2003 when Dame Barbara took a sabbatical for medical reasons after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus, but she returned as a series regular in 2005.

In 2009, Dame Barbara announced she would be leaving the soap again in order to spend more time with her husband Scott, who she married in 2000.

She returned for cameo appearances in the soap over the next few years but in 2016 she played Peggy for the final time.

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