Dame Barbara Windsor dies, aged 83, following a 6-year battle with dementia

National treasure Dame Barbara Windsor has passed away "peacefully" with husband Scott Mitchell at her bedside

Dame Barbara Windsor: Television star Barbara Windsor after she was made a Dame Commander of the order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London.
(Image credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive/PA Images)

Dame Barbara Windsor has died "peacefully" with husband Scott Mitchell at her bedside following a six-year battle with dementia.

'Babs' passed away last night at (Thursday 10th November) 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 Alzheimers in 2014 before going public with her illness in 2018 to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s to help other families who have loved-ones battling the disease.

Scott called her his “precious Bar” and added, “I’ve lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate.”

READ MORE: A study has revealed a new factor that could put you at risk of dementia

Dame Barbara Windsor and her husband Scott Mitchell deliver an Alzheimer's Society open letter to 10 Downing Street in Westminster, London,

(Image credit: Simon Dawson/PA Archive/PA Images)

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.

Full of praise, Scott said, “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."

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.

READ MORE: Dame Barbara Windsor is 'struggling to recognise herself' as her dementia worsens

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.

Scott continued, "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."

Speaking about her final days, Scott told PA, “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.”

The iconic actress became a household name following her roles in Carry On films and BBC One soap Eastenders.

Scott continued, “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.”

It is hoped Barbara's legacy will live on. 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.”

Maybe one of the ways the UK national treasure's spirit could be kept alive would be for pubs up and down the country - when open with Covid restrictions allowing - to play the iconic Peggy Mitchell phrase, "Get outta my pub" every closing time... someone make it happen.

Selina Maycock
Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life.

Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. Having spent the start of her career working on local newspapers and online, Selina spent six years as Acting News Editor and Entertainment Reporter at the Scunthorpe Telegraph where she dug into hard news stories, conducted interviews, covered court reporting, features, and entertainment, whilst going to gigs in her spare time.

Whilst at the paper she was awarded an O2 Media Judges' Special Award for helping a terminally ill cancer sufferer realise his dying wish and marry his childhood sweetheart through a successful newspaper campaign. Things like this are close to her heart when it comes to using journalism to make a positive difference in people's lives.

Selina later branched further into all things celebrity to became a Showbiz Writer at Heat magazine, covering red carpet events, showbiz parties, and various launches before going freelance for two years. One of her biggest celebrity achievements - aside from generating celebrity exclusives - was interviewing Take That (including Robbie Williams) and bumping into Simon Cowell so much at events she told him 'I'm calling you my showbiz dad!'

In 2017 she joined TI Media as a senior reporter on Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, Woman's Weekly celebrity desk before branching online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first.

When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.