Anorak News | Dame Barbara Windsor : Carry On and a night with George Best

Dame Barbara Windsor : Carry On and a night with George Best

by | 11th, December 2020

Actress Dame Barbara Windsor was 83 when she succumbed to Alzheimer’s at a London care home. Dame Barbara is best remembered as the star of nine of the 31 Carry On films, The Rag Trade, Sparrows Can’t Sing and EastEnders. But it was on stage where her talent and effervescence marked her out for stardom.

After a stint at the Aida Foster School in Golders Green, Windsor joined Joan Littlewood’s company at the Theatre Royal in Stratford, east London, appearing in productions of Oh! What A Lovely War and Fings Ain’t Wot They Used To Be.

At four foot ten and half inches tall with a bawdy laugh and impressive cleavage, ‘Babs’, a native of London’s East End, was a terrific and apparently fearless performer – although as she once cautioned: “I am not like my image,. Everyone thinks I just bounce in, but I study and everything has to be just right.”

Take the memorable bra scene in Carry on Camping (1969), filmed in chilly February and March. Windsor stands in a field with other women. She is dressed in a bikini. Twang! The straps cannot stand the strain. The bra jets off and lands on Kenneth Williams’ face, in his role as the gym instructor. The bra was attached to a fishing rod. On take one the props man pulled. The bra did not come loose and Babs was dragged over and through the mud. “Get her up and mop her down. Let’s go for another take”, Windsor heard as she struggled to her feet.

She married three times, including to small-time criminal Ronnie Knight, and she also dated hymned villains Charlie Kray and his brother Reggie, her Carry On co-star Sid James, Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees and the footballer George Best, of whom she said: “There was this vision, this absolute vision. He was so beautiful. He came over to me in the bar and I said, ‘Look, don’t waste your time with me, darling. You’ve got all these lovely ladies after you’. And he said, ‘Well, when do I ever get to talk to somebody like you?’ Well, that did it. That was it. A magic moment.”

Dame Barbara Windsor (nee Barbara Ann Deeks): August 6, 1937 (Shoreditch, London) – December 10, 2020.

Posted: 11th, December 2020 | In: Celebrities, News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink