Carry On and EastEnders actress Barbara Windsor is recovering after a recent operation.

Giggles with Sid James as they ‘Carry On’

Dame Barbara Windsor is recovering “really well” after undergoing heart surgery, The Sun reports.

The 81-year-old who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years ago, has had a pacemaker fitted following complications caused by the medication she has been taking to help with the dementia.

Her husband Scott Mitchell has been speaking to the UK tabloid about the op, noting how a low heart rate had caused the retired actress to become short of breath and dizzy before fainting at home.

“Barbara was suffering from a low heart rate which doctors thought was being caused by some of her medication. She was getting very dizzy and short of breath and fainted one day at home, so she had an eight-day hospital spell about four weeks ago and they’ve put in a pacemaker for her. But She’s recovering really well and is looking forward to getting out on the town again soon.” – Scott Mitchell

Windsor is best known for her portrayals of a ‘good time girl’ in nine Carry On films before starring in the ATV television version of the big screen funnies and in more recent times for her role as EastEnders‘ Peggy Mitchell.

Barbara’s acting career took a new direction with her arrival as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders.

In May this year Scott made the decision, with Barbara, to go public with her Alzheimer’s diagnosis due to a worsening of symptoms. He revealed the diagnosis was the reason for the definitive ending to her EastEnders character two years ago.

Windsor took on the role of Phil and Grant’s mum, who would soon become landlady of the Queen Vic, in the beeb soap in 1994, remaining with the show until 2003 when she took a break due to exhaustion. She re-joined the serial in 2005 but announced in October 2009 that her iconic alter-ego was to depart Walford a second time. 

Almost a year later, in September 2010, Peggy left Walford after her beloved pub was burnt down by a drug-addled Phil. Windsor admitted that keeping up with the show had become challenging; however, she made a number of brief returns to the saga as Peggy before the character chose to end her own life amid a terminal cancer diagnosis in May 2016.

Away from the soap Windsor has made occasional other acting appearances in recent years including as the Queen of Jackpot Joy bingo, voicing The Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, and cameos in Babs – a BBC One drama based on her life with Jaime Winstone and Samantha Spiro. Whilst going public with his wife’s Alzheimer’s earlier this year, Mitchell stated that she would henceforth be stepping back from all acting and charity work.

Barbara decided it was time for Peggy to leave Albert Square for the final time two years ago.
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