By Alex Jones
SAUCY snaps show a stunning young Barbara Windsor before she hit stardom and went on to become one of the most beloved stars in British television, theatre and film.
Remarkable photos, taken in 1960 when Barbara Windsor was in her early twenties, show the TV icon and former sexpot posing seductively on her bed, precariously balancing on a brick wall, and cuddling her pet pooches on the coach.
The photos were captured just one year before Barbara got her first regular TV role in The Rag Trade. She was soon catapulted to nationwide fame when she became a star of the raucous ’Carry On’ films and later as the much feared and admired pub landlady Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders.
English actress Dame Barbara Windsor was born Barbara Ann Deeks on August 6, 1937. She took the stage name Windsor in 1953 – seven years before this candid shoot – after she was inspired by the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
After filming nine Carry On films – ranging from Carry On Spying in 1964 to Carry On Dick a decade later – Barbara became an instant hit when she joined the cast of Eastenders in 1994 as the no-nonsense matriarch of the Queen Vic. She continued to play the role until her character’s tear-jerking demise in 2016.
The Dame has enjoyed a colourful life both on and off screen.
Dame Windsor has been married three times, the first time to Ronnie Knight, a gangster with associations with the notorious Kray Twins (who she also befriended).
There was also a well-publicised affair with Carry On compatriot Sid James and a dalliance with footballer George Best.
After she and Knight divorced, she married Stephen Hollings, a chef and restaurateur in 1986 but they divorced in 1995.
When she was 55 she met 28-year-old Scott Mitchell and they married in 2000 and the pair have been together ever since.
Unfortunately, the 81-year-old’s health has suffered in recent years.
On 10 May last year, it was confirmed that the TV legend had been diagnosed with Alzheimers. Her condition has deteriorated rapidly since then with the film icon struggling to recognise her own house and her relationship with her husband, according to Scott.
He recently ran the London Marathon to raise money for Alzheimers Awareness.
Tragically, Scott – who cares for Dame Windsor around the clock – lost his father on Sunday night (19 May).