Farewell to 'Queen of the East End' Dame Barbara Windsor with funeral restricted by lockdown
- Credit: LBTH
Showbiz A-listers have attended the funeral of EastEnders star Dame Barbara Windsor in what would have been a massive affair but for the pandemic restrictions.
Only 30 could attend the service at Golders Green Crematorium. They included actor Ross Kemp, who played Barbara's on-screen son in the BBC soap.
Barbara died on December 10 aged 83 in a care home after being diagnosed with dementia six years ago. She and husband Scott Mitchell had been working to raise public awareness of the illness after she went public with her diagnosis in 2018.
The “Queen of the East End” was awarded a Damehood for services to charity and entertainment and an honorary doctorate from the University of East London.
The super star born in Stepney in 1937 was the only child of costermonger John Deeks and dressmaker Rose in Shoreditch. Her stage debut was in 1952 at the age of 15 and first TV sitcom role was in 1960 as a flighty seamstress in The Rag Trade about life in an East End garment sweatshop.
She joined Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Royal in Stratford, from where Babs got her first star role in the 1963 film Sparrows Can’t Sing about the Cockney East End.
Barbara was a close friend of The Krays and often seen at their El Morocco nightclub in Soho. She married one of their associates, East End gangster Ronnie Knight, living in Mile End, the first of three marriages.
- 1 Man sentenced after teenage boy groomed on Snapchat to sell heroin
- 3 NHS nurse assaulted at east London hospital
- 4 Covid vaccination hub opening in Westfield next week
- 5 Council fined for Alexia Walenkaki's playground death in Mile End and says sorry to family
- 6 Airbnb house party violence leaves police officer with broken finger
- 7 Police hunt after stabbing in Cable Street: One man hurt
- 8 Death of woman, 75, in Mile End fire could have been avoided
- 9 Ethnic communities not taking up Covid jabs, Tower Hamlets Mayor warns
- 10 Man sentenced for assault on Homerton Hospital nurse
But much of her time involved community work, opening the extension in 2011 to Queen Victoria seamen’s rest in Limehouse and opening the first Tower Hamlets Council community hub in Hackney Road in 2018.
But life wasn’t kind in later years, having been diagnosed at 77 with Alzheimer’s. A JustGiving page set up as a tribute to her in aid of Alzheimer's Research has raised £150,000 so far.