Gay icon Dame Barbara Windsor, the Eastenders and Carry On star best known for portraying Peggy Mitchell, has passed away at the age of 83.
According to The Guardian, in a statement Friday (11 December), Windsor’s husband Scott Mitchell said: “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.
“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 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.”
Between 1964 and 1974, Windsor appeared in nine Carry On films, and made her Eastenders debut as Peggy Mitchell in 1994, becoming famous for her catchphrase: “Get outta my pub!”
Throughout her life, Windsor was a staunch LGBT+ ally.
She attended London Pride in 1997, and in 2006, she appeared at Brighton Pride as part of its Carry On-themed celebrations, joining the Terrence Higgins Trust float.
Windsor was close friends with “grande dame of drag” Danny La Rue, and when he passed away in 2009, she said: “To be a gay man is to be courageous, to be who you are and to defend your friends.”
In 2014, Michael Cashman revealed that Windsor was the one who set him up with his late partner, Paul Cottingham.
Fans took to social media to mourn ‘screen legend’ and ‘gay icon’ Barbara Windsor.
Mourning her death, LGBT+ fans took to social media to pay tribute to ally and icon Barbara Windsor.
One wrote: “I saw Barbara Windsor make a personal appearance at Heaven’s G-A-Y in the late 80s, camping up her famous bikini scene… RIP.”
I saw Barbara Windsor make a personal appearance at Heaven’s G-A-Y in the late 80s, camping up her famous bikini scene. When her great friend Danny La Rue died she said, “To be a gay man is to be courageous, to be who you are and to defend your friends.” #RIPBarbaraWindsor pic.twitter.com/W5pOp6NCsp
— Prof Deborah Sugg Ryan @ 🏠 (@DeborahSuggRyan) December 11, 2020
Another fan said: “Barbara Windsor was a friend of the gays her whole life, she marched with Brighton Pride, and delivered camp as an art form. A true icon.”
Barbara Windsor was a friend of the gays her whole life, she marched with Brighton Pride, and delivered camp as an art form. A true icon x pic.twitter.com/p88ytvg4QQ
— Calum. (@CalumS1991) December 11, 2020
Barbara Windsor was a true gay icon.
I can’t believe she’s gone.
— Pantalaimon Silvertongue 🏳️🌈💙🌊 (@PantalaimonSil1) December 11, 2020
Another Twitter user added: “So sad my LGBT QWEEN has passed away. I love Barbara Windsor.”