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EastEnders and Carry On star Barbara Windsor dies aged 83

Dame Barbara Windsor, best-known for her roles in EastEnders and the Carry On film series, has died aged 83.

Dame Barbara, a British household name for decades, passed away at a London care home at 8:35pm on Thursday. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.

Tributes quickly poured in from fans and colleagues as they lamented the loss of a “national treasure”.

Her husband, Scott Mitchell, said his wife’s final weeks were typical of how she lived her life, being “full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end”.

Mr Mitchell, who campaigned alongside his wife to raise understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and funding for research into the illness, said that he had 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,” Mr Mitchell said.

“It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve,” he added. 

“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.”

He thanked “all the doctors, nurses and carers who are angels at the care home”, who he described as “my heroes”, and thanked their family, friends and the public for their support during her illness, which he said Dame Barbara “deeply appreciated”.

At the end of his 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.”

independent