Dame Barbara Windsor has passed away from Alzheimer’s after a several-years-long battle with the disease. She was 83 years old and died at her care home, with her husband, Scott Mitchell, by her side.
“It is with deep sadness that I can confirm that my darling wife Barbara passed away at 8:35 pm on Thursday 10 December at a London care home,” says Scott. “Her passing was from Alzheimer’s/Dementia and Barbara eventually died peacefully, and I spent the last seven days by her side.”
Dame Barbara, who was born Barbara Ann Deeks in 1937, was best known for her role as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders and for her roles in nine of the Carry On films. But her work spans decades, starting when she was just 13 years old, and includes a variety of appearances in many different types of roles.
She left the industry in 2009 to spend more time but her family but continued to make the occasional appearance as late as 2016. In 2016, she was awarded her damehood for her work in the entertainment industry and in charity.
Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, and in her final years, her health rapidly declined, forcing her husband to place her in a care home in July of 2020.
In 2018, Dame Barbara made her diagnosis public. She and Scott became advocates for greater awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and did everything they could to reduce the stigma around the disease.
Despite the fact that Dame Barbara no longer lived at home, Scott, whom she’s been married to since 2000, managed to be by her side for the entire week preceding her death.
“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,” says Scott. “Barbara’s final weeks were typical of how she lived her life. Full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end.”
Scott adds, “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.”
Dame Barbara’s friends and colleagues have also been sharing their memories of the beloved actress and “national treasure” on social media.
“I’m extremely sad to hear that my friend ‘Dame’ Babara Windsor has passed away. I’m sitting here thinking of the 100’s of memories we shared,” writes Patsy Palmer, who played Bianca Jackson. “Too many to comprehend. We were like family for a long time, ups downs, ins and outs but you will never meet a more professional actress than Babs.”
Danniella Westbrook, who played Barbara’s on-screen daughter, Sam Mitchell, on EastEnders, also tweeted: “‘MY HEART IS BROKEN. Bar you will always be in my heart forever. Goodbye, I LOVE YOU XXX RIP Barbara WINDSOR.'”
Check out the video below to learn more. Rest in peace, Dame Barbara.