Beloved British actress Dame Barbara Windsor died Thursday evening at the age of 83.
Her husband, Scott Mitchell, confirmed her death to PA News, telling the agency that her final weeks were "typical of how she lived her life" and "full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end."
"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, according to Yahoo News.
"It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve," Mitchell added, referencing his wife's battle with Alzheimer's, which she was diagnosed with in 2014. "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."
Windsor appeared in the comedy film series Carry On and Sparrows Can't Sing — which earned her a BAFTA nomination — in addition to minor roles in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and On the Fiddle. Her most famous role, however, was in British soap opera EastEnders.
She played landlady Peggy Mitchell in the long-running series, starring alongside Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden. Her final appearance in EastEnders was in 2016 — the same year she was named a dame for her service and charity donations.
Following the news of her death, tributes rolled in from her fellow EastEnders stars, as well as from politicians and other leaders.
"Dame Barbara Windsor — a great British actor and tireless charity campaigner who will be deeply missed," Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wrote in a Friday statement.
"So sad about Barbara Windsor, so much more than a great pub landlady & Carry On star," added Prime Minister Boris Johnson. "She campaigned for the lonely and the vulnerable — and cheered the world up with her own British brand of harmless sauciness & innocent scandal. Thoughts with Scott and all her family & friends."
Actor Larry Lamb, who played Peggy's husband Archie on EastEnders, told BBC Radio 5 that his former co-star was "an extraordinary woman."
"Everybody [at EastEnders] looked up to her — which physically wasn't the easiest thing to do, she was so tiny," he said. "But she was an extraordinary, extraordinary woman and a great loss."
"I'm extremely sad to hear that my friend 'Dame' Barbara Windsor has passed away,” wrote Patsy Palmer, who played Bianca Jackson. "I'm sitting here thinking of the 100s of memories we shared. Too many to comprehend. We were like family for a long time, ups down, ins and outs. but you will never meet a more professional actress than Babs."
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