Sunday 15 September 2019

From EastEnders to Carry On, Barbara Windsor’s career highlights

National treasure Barbara Windsor has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 80.

Barbara Windsor has enjoyed a glittering career in showbusiness (Victoria Jones/PA)
Barbara Windsor has enjoyed a glittering career in showbusiness (Victoria Jones/PA)

By Keiran Southern, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Barbara Windsor became one of the most recognisable faces on British television while playing Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders.

The battleaxe mother of hardmen Phil and Grant, Dame Barbara was the landlady of the Queen Victoria and was often heard telling drinkers who had crossed her to “get outta my pub!”.

But before she had set foot in Albert Square, Dame Barbara, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, had enjoyed a glittering career in showbusiness.

Barbara Windsor has enjoyed a stellar career in showbusiness but is perhaps best known for her role as Peggy Mitchell in Eastenders (Kieron McCarron/BBC/PA)

She made her stage debut aged 13, when she appeared in pantomime and, just a year later, the 80-year-old was in the West End in the musical Love From Judy.

Her career only went up from there and she appeared in hit TV series such as Dad’s Army, Worzel Gummidge and One Foot In The Grave.

Her work in the theatre saw her nominated for a Tony Award.

She also starred in the 1968 classic film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Sid James and Barbara Windsor pictured outside the Victoria Palace Theatre wearing busbies (PA)

But, aside from her role in EastEnders, Dame Barbara is perhaps best known for appearing in several Carry On… films.

Playing the role of the “good time girl”, she first appeared in 1964’s Carry On Spying while her final role was in Carry On Dick in 1974.

One of her best remembered scenes, from 1969’s Carry On Camping, saw her bikini top fly off during outdoor aerobic exercises.

Dame Barbara Windsor with her Outstanding Contribution to Television Award at the TV Choice Awards 2016 (Nicky Johnston/PA)

In 2009, Windsor’s career was recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award at The British Soap Awards and in 2010 she featured in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

After 16 years of playing Peggy Mitchell, Dame Barbara left Albert Square in 2010, though made further occasional appearances before her character was killed off in 2016.

Windsor was awarded an MBE in the Millennium New Year honours and has also been given The Freedom of the City of London.

Dame Barbara Windsor from London is made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace (Jonathan Brady/PA)

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