BARBARA Windsor’s heartbroken husband has led tributes to the iconic actress after her death from dementia at the age of 83.
The actress, one of Britain's favourites, “brought brightness to our lives’, said Scott Mitchell, 57, after Dame Barbara passed away last night.
Dame Barbara was one of Britain’s most beloved stars and was known for her roles in EastEnders and the iconic Carry On films.
She died at 8.35pm on Thursday at a London care home after battling dementia, Mr Mitchell said.
"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,” he said.
"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.
“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."
A representative for actor Steve McFadden, who plays Dame Barbara's on-screen son Phil Mitchell, said he was "devastated" by her death.
The Mitchells have been crucial to EastEnders' success and longevity and viewers were for years gripped by the drama surrounding the family.
Danniella Westbrook, 47, who played Peggy’s daughter Sam, wrote on Twitter: “Today we lost a legend a national treasure and a woman who I looked up to for most of my life.
“A generous, warm, funny humble and beautiful lady and someone who gave us all much joy watching her act.
“A woman who I was lucky enough to work with for many years as my mum and a loyal friend. The brightest of all stars will now shine above us instead of among us.”
Danniella added: “Sending my love to Scott at this sad time. My heart is heavy broken in two. Bar I love you. Rest In Peace my queen. Goodnight and God bless you.”
Little Britain star Matt Lucas wrote on Twitter: "You don't become a Dame by accident. Everyone knew Barbara Windsor and everyone loved her.
"She delighted us on stage and sparkled on screen in a long and illustrious career. She also worked tirelessly for charity, and continued to do so, even when her own health was failing her.
"Her devoted husband Scott has been utterly selfless and heroic in caring for her and I am devastated for him.
"I will miss her warmth, her generosity, her laughter and the kindness she showed me. She was a remarkable woman and it's not an overstatement to say I think the whole country is in mourning today."
TalkRadio host and Sun columnist Dan Wootton also paid tribute.
“Dame Barbara Windsor. An entertainment icon in every way,” he tweeted.
“A good woman in every way. Will miss your kindness, your laugh, your spirit, your fabulousness and your bravery. The true definition of national treasure. What a loss.”
Love Island star Amy Hart described meeting Dame Barbara as an EastEnders “obsessed” teenager.
She tweeted: “When I was an Eastenders obsessed 12 year old, Barbara Windsor was having dinner in the same hotel as we were at for a wedding.
“She was so so kind and had pictures with all of us kids (and Grandad Harry who still has his photo framed on the wall) a true legend x."
Comedian David Baddiel paid tribute on Twitter, saying: "RIP the very lovely, very funny Barbara Windsor. What a genuine national treasure she was."
TV presenter Jonathan Ross tweeted: "Barbara Windsor in real life was everything you might have hoped for. So warm, so funny, so kind. Goodnight sweetheart x #BarbaraWindsor".
In his tribute to the actress, veteran DJ Tony Blackburn tweeted: "So sorry to hear Barbara Windsor has passed away, a lovely lady who was always such fun. R.I.P. Babs."
Former newsreader Alistair Stewart said: “Dame Barbara Windsor was one of those stars about whom you really don't need to write "best known for…".
Blue singer Duncan James paid tribute tweeting: "So sad to hear about Barbara Windsor passing. She was truly a British icon and may she rest in peace."
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