Name Barbara Windsor
|Years active 1950–present|
Height 1.50 m
Net worth £8.7 million (2014)
Parents John Deeks, Rose Deeks
|Full Name Barbara Ann Deeks|
Born 6 August 1937 (age 78) (1937-08-06) Shoreditch, London, England
Television EastEnders (1994–2010, 2013-15)
Spouse Scott Mitchell (m. 2000), Stephen Hollings (m. 1986–1995), Ronnie Knight (m. 1964–1985)
Albums Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be
Movies and TV shows EastEnders, Carry On, Carry On Camping, Carry On Doctor, Alice in Wonderland
Similar People Sid James, Joan Sims, Kenneth Williams, Ronnie Knight, Hattie Jacques
Barbara Windsor - Gotcha!
Dame Barbara Windsor, DBE (born Barbara Ann Deeks; 6 August 1937) is an English actress, known for her appearances in the Carry On films and for playing Peggy Mitchell in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders. She joined the cast of EastEnders in 1994 and won the 1999 British Soap Award for Best Actress. She left the show in 2010, before returning for three episodes between 2013 and 2015. Her character's final appearances were broadcast in June 2016.
- Barbara Windsor Gotcha
- Who is barbara windsor
- Carry On films
- Theatre career
- Later years
- Relationships and personal life
Windsor began her career on stage in 1950 at the age of 13 and made her film debut in The Belles of St Trinian's (1954). She received a BAFTA Award nomination for the film Sparrows Can't Sing (1963), and a Tony Award nomination for the 1964 Broadway production of Oh, What A Lovely War!. In 1972, she starred opposite Vanessa Redgrave in the West End production of The Threepenny Opera. Between 1964 and 1974, she appeared in nine Carry On films, including Carry On Spying (1964), Carry On Doctor (1967), Carry On Camping (1969), Carry On Henry (1971) and Carry On Abroad (1972). She also co-presented the 1977 Carry On compilation That's Carry On!. Other film roles include A Study in Terror (1965), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and as the voice of Mallymkun -The Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016).
Who is barbara windsor
Windsor was born in Shoreditch, London, in 1937 (her birth was registered in Stepney), the only child of John Deeks, a costermonger, and his wife, Rose (née Ellis), a dressmaker. Windsor is of English and Irish ancestry. She passed her 11-plus exams gaining a place at Our Lady’s Convent in Stamford Hill. Her mother paid for her to have elocution lessons, and she trained at the Aida Foster School in Golders Green, making her stage debut at 13 and her West End debut in 1952 in the chorus of the musical Love From Judy. She took the stage name Windsor in 1953, inspired by the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Her first film role was in The Belles of St Trinian's released in 1954. She joined Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, coming to prominence in their stage production Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be and Littlewood's film Sparrers Can't Sing (1963), achieving a BAFTA nomination for Best British Film Actress. She also appeared in the film comedy Crooks in Cloisters (1964), the fantasy film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and in the sitcoms The Rag Trade and Wild, Wild Women. Windsor appeared as "Saucy Nancy" in the second series of the ITV children's programme Worzel Gummidge (1980), based on the books by Barbara Euphan Todd.
Carry On films
Windsor came to real prominence with her portrayals of a 'good time girl' in nine Carry On films. Her first was Carry On Spying in 1964 and her final Carry On... film acting role was in Carry On Dick in 1974. She also appeared in several Carry On... television and compilation specials between 1964 and 1977.
One of her most iconic scenes was in Carry On Camping in 1969, where her bikini top flew off during outdoor aerobic exercises. In classic Carry On style, exposure is implied but little is in fact seen.
From 1973 to 1975 she appeared with several of the Carry On team in the West End revue Carry On London! During this time she had a well-publicised affair with her co-star, Sid James.
She was strongly identified with the Carry On films for many years, which restricted the variety of roles she was chosen to play later.
She also starred on Broadway in the Theatre Workshop's Oh, What a Lovely War! and received a 1965 Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She also appeared in Lionel Bart's musical flop Twang! (directed by Joan Littlewood) and in the musical Come Spy with Me with Danny La Rue.
In 1970 she landed the role of music hall legend Marie Lloyd in the musical-biopic Sing A Rude Song. In 1972 she appeared in the West End in Tony Richardson's The Threepenny Opera with his then wife, Vanessa Redgrave. In 1975, she toured the UK, New Zealand and South Africa in her own show, Carry On Barbara!, and followed this with the role of Maria in Twelfth Night at the Chichester Festival Theatre.
In 1981 she played sex-mad landlady Kath in Joe Orton's black comedy Entertaining Mr Sloane at the Lyric Hammersmith, directed by her friend Kenneth Williams. She reprised the role for a national tour in 1993. She made several appearances from the 1970s in BBC TV's long running variety show, The Good Old Days,a large gilded framed portrait of her, can regularly be seen in the auditorium of the City Varieties Theatre on the broadcasts.
When the soap opera began in 1985, the producers said they would only cast unknown actors (apart from Wendy Richard). The Shoreditch-born Windsor said that she regretted this, as she'd liked to have taken part.
By 1994 this policy was relaxed, and Windsor was cast in the series. She took over the role of Peggy Mitchell (previously played by Jo Warne in 1991), for which she received the "Best Actress" award at 1999 British Soap Awards and a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the 2009 event. In 2016, Windsor won the Outstanding Contribution Award at the TV Choice Awards, and Best Exit at the Inside Soap Awards, for her portrayal of Peggy's death.
A debilitating case of the Epstein-Barr virus forced a two-year absence from the role between 2003 and 2005, although Windsor was able to make a two episode appearance in 2004. She rejoined the cast in mid-2005, initially on a one-year contract, though this was later extended.
The Doctor Who episode "Army of Ghosts" broadcast on 1 July 2006 included a specially recorded clip featuring her appearing in character. She was seen telling the ghost of Den Watts to "get outta my pub!" In November 2005, as part of the BBC's Children In Need 2005 charity night, a Catherine Tate Show/EastEnders mini episode was broadcast. It featured Windsor as Peggy in the Queen Victoria Public House, being tormented by Catherine Tate's schoolgirl character Lauren Cooper.
In October 2009 Windsor announced she was to leave her role as Peggy Mitchell, saying she wanted to spend more time with her husband. On 10 September 2010 her character left Albert Square after a fire at the Queen Victoria pub, of which she was the owner.
In July 2013, it was announced that Windsor was to return for one episode, which aired on 20 September 2013. She again returned for a single episode on 25 September 2014, and made a further appearance for EastEnders 30th anniversary on 17 February 2015. In February 2015, Windsor, alongside Pam St. Clement (Pat Butcher), took part in EastEnders: Back to Ours to celebrate 30 years of EastEnders. Windsor and Clement looked back on some of their characters' most dramatic moments.
In November 2015, Windsor secretly filmed a return EastEnders, which was shown in January 2016. After this, it was confirmed that the character would be killed off later in the year. This was Windsor's decision, as she said that as long as Peggy was alive, she would always be drawn back to playing her. Her last appearance aired on BBC One on 17 May 2016.
Windsor provided the voice of the Dormouse in Walt Disney's live action adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (2010), directed by Tim Burton. Windsor appeared in the pantomime Dick Whittington at the Bristol Hippodrome over the Christmas/New Year period of 2010/2011. On 8 September 2010 it was announced that Windsor will be fronting a TV campaign for online bingo site Jackpotjoy as the Queen of Bingo. She appeared as herself in one episode of Come Fly with Me in January 2011.
Also, since 2011 she has regularly stood in for Elaine Paige on her BBC Radio 2 show on Sunday afternoons between 1.00pm and 3.00pm but from 2014, Windsor was given her own series on the radio station called Ladies Of Song. She reprised her voice role of the Dormouse in the film Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016).
In December 2015 it was leaked that she is to be made a Dame in the New Year Honours list. She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to charity and entertainment.
Windsor has made appearances at some of the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Services to remember the 173 who died in the disaster at Bethnal Green tube station on 3 March 1943.
In May 2017 Barbara appeared in a cameo role about her life in the BBC film production Babs written by EastEnders scriptwriter Tony Jordan, showing Windsor in the 1990s as she prepares to go on stage and recalls events from her life, including her childhood and marriage to gangster Ronnie Knight, as well as her rise to fame as part of the Carry On cast. Following this TV airing of the film, it was made available on DVD.
Relationships and personal life
Windsor has married three times:
- Ronnie Knight, (married 2 March 1964, divorced January 1985)
- Stephen Hollings, chef/restaurateur (married 12 April 1986 in Jamaica, divorced 1995)
- Scott Mitchell, former actor and recruitment consultant (married 8 April 2000)
Before her marriage to Ronnie Knight, she had a one night stand with Reggie Kray and a longer affair with his brother Charles Kray. While married to Knight, she had a well publicised affair with Sid James; Knight is said to have threatened James with violence. Another of Windsor's Carry On co-stars, Kenneth Williams, accompanied her and Ronnie Knight on their honeymoon. During the 1960s, she had a brief relationship with footballer George Best.
In her 2001 autobiography, All of Me, Windsor talks about her five abortions, the first three of which took place before the age of 21, the last when she was 42. She has said she never wanted children as a result of her father rejecting her. In the book, she wrote that she is a supporter of the Conservative Party.
Over the years Windsor has made her home in a variety of locations. Amongst them, Sunday Times photographer Michael Ward's autobiography records her as living in Grand Parade, Harringay, in the early 1960s.
Windsor was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2000 New Year Honours. In August 2010, she was given the Freedom of the City of London, and in November 2010, she was honoured by the City of Westminster at a tree planting and plaque ceremony.
In 2013 Windsor became a patron of the theatre heritage charity The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America.
She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to charity and to entertainment.
In 2011, Windsor became a Patron of East London homeless charity Caritas Anchor House. In 2012, she became a patron of the Amy Winehouse Foundation, and in November 2014, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of East London.
Windsor has been active in the following theatre productions: