Barbara Windsor’s tragic prediction ‘ill health would affect marriage to Scott’
Barbara Windsor: Former EastEnders star dies at the age of 83
The EastEnders and Carry On film legend’s death at the age of 83, was confirmed by her family. Dame Barbara had battled with Alzheimer’s disease for six years and bravely campaigned to raise awareness and support. Prior to her passing yesterday, the Peggy Mitchell actress revealed her fears over how her health could damage her relationship with husband Scott.
Dame Barbara’s life off-screen courted as much interest as many of the characters she played after three marriages and a string of affairs, including one with Reggie from the Kray Twins.
The London-born actress, who changed her surname from Deeks to Windsor after her first film The Belles of St Trinian’s in 1954, had been married to Scott for 20 years.
Initially, their relationship courted controversy because of their 26-year-age gap, but Dame Barbara seemed unaffected by the salacious comments.
In a touching admission, she revealed that she had “never been more sure of anyone or anything” than her marriage to Scott, a former actor.
Dame Barbara was “never completely sure” of the affection and love she received from first husband Ronnie Knight, a Kray Twins associate, nor her second Stephen Hollings.
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She said: “But I am sure of Scott – more than I’ve ever been sure of anyone.
“I know he loves me very much and, from the bottom of my heart, I know we will always be together.”
However, the actress revealed her fears that being 26 years older than her husband would take a toll on their relationship.
Dame Barbara said: “I’d be a liar if I said the age difference didn’t worry me, but I don’t mean that in the way you think.
“I don’t think Scott will leave me because I’m too old.
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“I just worry because I’ve had a few aches and pains recently and, at the pace I work, that isn’t good.
“I just keep saying to myself, ‘Please God, don’t let my body give up on me now that everything is so good.'”
Her fears about ill-health were revealed to the Sunday Mirror, 14 years before her diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.
Despite her concerns, Dame Barbara knew she and Scott were “right for each other” after their feelings intensified after their relationship came to an end.
She said: “We split up for a couple of years, but in the end we couldn’t live without each other.
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“We’re like two funny little gnomes running about our house. We cook together, we laugh together and we talk a lot.”
Dame Barbara’s passing was marked by a number of touching tributes online, including by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
On Twitter, he wrote: “So sad about Barbara Windsor, so much more than a great pub landlady [and] Carry On star.
“She campaigned for the lonely and the vulnerable – and cheered the world up with her own British brand of harmless sauciness [and] innocent scandal.”
Her husband Scott described her as his “best friend and soulmate” in a heartbreaking reflection on his 20-year marriage to Dame Barbara.
He added: “My heart or life will never feel the same without you.”
EastEnders actor Steve McFadden, who plays her son Phil Mitchell in the soap, said he was “devastated” by the news.
Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale, added that to “work with her was a privilege and honour” after watching her in Carry On films while he was “growing up”.
He said: “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.”
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