People around the country have reacted with sadness after news of Dame Barbara Windsor’s death broke early this morning.
The much-loved actress, who was best known for her roles in EastEnders and the Carry On films, died at the age of 83 after living with dementia for a number of years.
Tributes quickly appeared across social media, as people expressed their grief and shared memories.
They included Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who met Dame Barbara last year when she delivered a petition calling for better care for dementia patients.
So sad about Barbara Windsor, so much more than a great pub landlady & Carry On star. 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.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 11, 2020
Edward Mountain, MSP for the Highlands and Islands region, wrote on Twitter that he was “very sad” to hear about Dame Barbara’s passing.
Very sad to read this news https://t.co/BiNZzupA2c
— Edward Mountain MSP (@1edmountain) December 11, 2020
Another Twitter user paid tribute to the way the actress “braved such a horrendous illness with dignity and poise”.
Sad news indeed. Babs gave us many laughs and many tears and she braved such a horrendous illness with dignity and poise. The nation has lost another treasure. RIP Dame Barbara Windsor 💕😢
— Gazzo (@gazzo59) December 11, 2020
On Facebook, people sharing the news remembered her as a “great actress” and a “legend” – with many expressing the sentiment that “2020 really has been the worst”.
One person referenced her most famous television role on EastEnders, saying “RIP Peggy Mitchell”.
In a comment, another Facebook user wrote: “R.I.P Barbara you were such an amazing lady. Thinking of all the family at this sad time.”
Tributes also came in from Dame Barbara’s former co-stars on the popular soap.
Tamzin Outhwaite, who portrayed Mel Owen, wrote on Twitter that she was having trouble sleeping after losing her “friend”.
— tamzin outhwaite (@mouthwaite) December 11, 2020
And Danniella Westbrook, who played her on-screen daughter Sam Mitchell, wrote that Dame Barbara was “generous, warm, funny, humble and beautiful”.
Today we lost a legend a national treasure and a woman who I looked up too for most off my life. A generous warm funny humble and beautiful lady & 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 & a loyal pic.twitter.com/yyPIqbwu3E
— Danniella Westbrook (@westbrookdanni) December 11, 2020
Charity the Alzheimer’s Society said they were “incredibly sorry” to hear of the actress’ death, writing that her and her husband were “awe-inspiring” in their support of people living with dementia.
We're so incredibly sorry to hear that Dame Barbara Windsor has died at the age of 83, while living with dementia.
We're sending all of our thoughts & love today to her husband Scott and all of her family & friends.
Dame Barbara inspired us all.https://t.co/Bdxgb5GO5K
— Alzheimer's Society (@alzheimerssoc) December 11, 2020