Dame Barbara Windsor starred on EastEnders as pub landlady Peggy Mitchell on and off from 1994 to 2016.
And her former castmembers took to social media in their droves to pay tribute to the TV legend after learning she had passed away aged 83 following her battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Barbara died at 8.35pm on Thursday at a
‘It’s been a privilege and an honour’: EastEnders stars Jessie Wallace, (left) Adam Woodyatt, (right) Steve McFadden and Patsy Palmer pay tribute to Dame Barbara Windsor after she passed away following a battle with Alzheimer’s on Thursday
Heartfelt: Adam and Jessie both shared sweet comments alongside the pictured they posted with Barbara
Jessie Wallace, who played Kat Slater wrote: ‘My darling Barbara. So heartbroken to hear you have left us. I love you.’
Adam Woodyatt, whose character Ian Beale was once punched on the show by Peggy, called it an ‘honour and a privilege to have known Barbara, in a sweet Instagram post on Friday morning.
Tragic news: Dame Barbara, best known for her roles in EastEnders and the Carry On films passed away on Thursday, her husband Scott Mitchell confirmed (pictured in 2015)
Sharing a photograph of them, he wrote: ‘I took this when Dame Barbara was filming her last episodes of EastEnders in 2016.
‘I grew up watching Babs in the Carry On films and for me to then work with her it was a privilege and honour.
‘I have so many happy memories and moments that I will always cherish, even when Peggy floored Ian with a punch. My thoughts are with her amazing husband Scott, her family and friends. Rest in peace Barbara xxxx.’
Love: Patsy Palmer, who played Bianca Jackson in the soap shared these images and wrote: ‘I’m sitting here thinking of the 100’s of memories we shared. Too many to comprehend. We were like family for a long time, ups downs , ins and outs but you will never meet a more professional actress than Babs
Patsy Palmer, who played Bianca Jackson, wrote in the comments: ‘So so sad. Just thinking of us all in the reception when we all used to sit there!!!’
She also shared some pictures of herself with Barbara on her own account and wrote: ‘Verified I’m extremely sad to hear that my friend “Dame“ Babara Windsor has passed away.
‘I’m sitting here thinking of the 100’s of memories we shared . Too many to comprehend. We were like family for a long time , ups downs , ins and outs but you will never meet a more professional actress than Babs .
‘@scott.mitchell3 You were the best husband she could’ve wished for. You deserve the highest accolade. We shared such magical times together and I’ll cherish every one.
‘I can hear that laugh now as I sit and think about her. I hope it’ll ring in my ears forever. She always looked out for me and so did you . Love you both very much . I’m gutted ! I could say so much but I’m so sad. RIP BABS.’
A representative for Steve McFadden, who plays Dame Barbara’s on-screen son Phil Mitchell, said he was ‘devastated’ by her death as he led tributes for the beloved actress.
Barbara’s husband Scott described the EastEnders legend’s final weeks as ‘typical of how she lived her life’ and ‘full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end’.
David Walliams crowned the ‘national treasure’, who is best-known for her signature soap catchphrase ‘get outta my pub!’, as the ‘unofficial Queen of England’ in a touching message.
The comedian, 49, penned on Twitter: ‘Goodbye Dame Babs. You were my first love as a child in the Carry On films & I will love you forever.
‘Working with you, spending time with you & being your friend was one of the greatest thrills of my life. The unofficial Queen of England, an icon treasured by the nation.’ David’ (sic)
Her EastEnders co-stars Robert Kazinsky, who plays Sean Slater in the BBC soap opera, and Patsy Palmer, who starred as Bianca Jackson, also shared their ‘sadness’ following the tragic news.
Robert, 37, tweeted: ‘What a joy it was to have known and worked with her. To have her tell me to ‘Gerrout mah pub,’ to have shared so many chats on rainy days.
‘Queen of England’: David Walliams has crowned the national treasure, who found fame in the 1960s in the Carry On films, as the ‘unofficial Queen of England’ in a touching tribute
Devastating: The beloved entertainment star, who became a household name playing Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders, died at 8.35pm on Thursday at a London care home
‘All my love goes to Scott who was a family friend before EE was even a twinkle in the eye. #RIPBabs what a life, what a lady.’
While Patsy, 48, took to Instagram to share a lengthy tribute to her former co-star, where she praised Dame Barbara’s husband Scott as ‘the best she could have wished for’.
She went on to explain that the household name ‘always looked out’ for her and said that she will ‘cherish’ all the ‘magical times’ she spent with Barbara.
Jonathan Ross also gushed over how Barbara, who found fame in the 1960s as a buxom blonde in the Carry On films, ‘was everything you might have hoped for’.
The TV presenter, 60, wrote: ‘Barbara Windsor in real life was everything you might have hoped for. So warm, so funny, so kind. Goodnight sweetheart x #BarbaraWindsor’
Tributes: Her EastEnders co-stars Robert Kazinsky, who plays Sean Slater, and Patsy Palmer, who starred as Bianca Jackson, shared their devastation following the tragic news
And Tony Blackburn, 77, tweeted: ‘So sorry to hear Barbara Windsor has passed away, a lovely lady who was always such fun. R.I.P. Babs.’
Ben Ofoedu, 48, known as being one-half of pop duo Phats & Small, also paid tribute to the ‘true legend’ as he penned that he was ‘proud’ to know Dame Barbara.
He said: ‘A national treasure has gone to take her place with the stars in heaven. A really lovely person that I’m proud to say I knew and was fortunate too converse with on many occasions. A true legend in every sense of the word R.I.P Barbara Windsor’
Hoards of soap stars, including Hollyoaks’ Nathalie Emmanuel and Anne Wallace, were quick to flood social media with heartfelt tributes to the EastEnders legend.
Game of Thrones star Nathalie, 31, penned: ‘Oh wow… actually feel really sad about the passing of Barbara Windsor.
‘Full of humour’: Barbara’s husband Scott, 57, described the EastEnders legend’s final weeks as ‘typical of how she lived her life’ and ‘full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end’
‘What a legend’: Gospel choir singer Jahméne Douglas penned a lengthy tribute to Barbara as he said he was glad he got to ‘experience your unforgettable giggle’ in real life
‘She was a legend… and the many ‘… ‘Allo Mum…’ *pans to Phil and/or Grant Mitchell* duff duff moments will always be the most iconic in my opinion. May she rest in peace.’
Meanwhile Anne, who plays Sally St. Clair in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, posted a touching message to the ‘legendary British actress’.
The X Factor singing duo Jedward, Scottish TV presenter Gillian McKeith and comedian David Baddiel were also among those who paid their respects to the national treasure.
Gospel choir singer, and 2012 The X Factor runner-up, Jahméne Douglas also penned a lengthy tribute to Barbara as he said he was glad he got to ‘experience your unforgettable giggle’ in real life.
He wrote: ‘RIP Dame Barbara Windsor I’m so glad I got to experience your unforgettable giggle in person, your energy & smile. Thank you for the words you shared with me, your kindness & heart.
Rise to fame: Barbara rose to fame as a buxom blonde on the Carry On Films, first appeared in Carry On Spying in 1964, with her final film role coming in 1974’s Carry On Dick
‘What a life, what a woman, what a legend. May that cheeky giggle Carry On in our hearts!
The household name was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 before making the news public in 2018.
Barbara’s husband Scott, 57, described the EastEnders legend’s final weeks as ‘typical of how she lived her life’ and ‘full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end’.
He continued: ‘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.
Alzheimer’s battle: Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and made the news public back in 2018
‘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.’
Scott, who alongside his wife campaigned for greater dementia care from the Government, added: ‘Dementia/Alzheimer’s remains the UKs number one killer.
‘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.
EastEnders: Dame Barbara made her debut as Peggy in 1994 and soon became one of the small screen’s best-loved characters as she yelled at rogue drinkers to ‘get outta my pub!’
‘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, he 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.
‘I will be making no further statements and now need the time to grieve this painful, personal loss.’
Dame Barbara made her debut as Peggy in 1994 and soon became one of the small screen’s best-loved characters as she yelled at rogue drinkers to ‘get outta my pub!’.
It became the defining role of her career and saw her star alongside Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden as her fictional sons Grant and Phil, with the late Mike Reid as her on-screen husband Frank Butcher.
The character left our screens in 2003 when Dame Barbara took a sabbatical for medical reasons after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus, but she returned as a series regular in 2005.
In 2009, Dame Barbara announced she would be leaving the soap again in order to spend more time with her husband Scott, who she married in 2000.
She returned for cameo appearances in the soap over the next few years but in 2016 she played Peggy for the final time.
Her final scenes aired in May that year as the Walford stalwart took her own life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Before becoming synonymous with Albert Square, Dame Barbara delighted Carry On fans with her portrayals of a ‘good time girl,’ appearing in nine films in a series known for its bawdy humour.
Awareness: Both Dame Barbara and her husband campaigned to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s following her diagnosis
She first appeared in Carry On Spying in 1964, with her final film role coming in 1974’s Carry On Dick.
One of Dame Barbara’s most famous scenes was in 1969’s Carry On Camping, when her bikini top flew off in the middle of an exercise class.
The actress was made a dame in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list for her services to charity and entertainment.
Both Dame Barbara and her husband campaigned to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s following her diagnosis.
In August this year, Mitchell said his wife had been moved to a care home in London.