Actress Barbara Windsor is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.
The 80-year-old, famed for her roles in the Carry On films and soap EastEnders, has been taking medication after being diagnosed with the brain disease in 2014. However, her husband Scott Mitchell told The Sun that Barbara’s symptoms, which include memory loss and confusion, have become worse in recent weeks.
Barbara was diagnosed with the degenerative condition after hours of mental agility tests, followed by a brain scan and lumbar puncture. And when the neurologist told her of the news, the famously giggly star broke down in tears and apologised to her devoted spouse.
After Barbara’s absence from showbiz events sparked rumours about her health, Scott made the decision to speak about the diagnosis to potentially explain any unusual behaviour the acting veteran might display when she’s out and about.
“Since her 80th birthday last August, a definite continual confusion has set in, so it’s becoming a lot more difficult for us to hide,” he explained. “I don’t want it to come across that she’s sitting there unable to communicate, because she’s not.
“We’re still going out for walks or dinner with friends and we still laugh together a lot. She loves going out and it’s good for her — she comes alive. And of course, the public are naturally very drawn to her, which I don’t want to stop.
“But as soon as we leave the house, I live in constant terror that she’s going to say something, or suddenly have a panic attack, or get photographed when she’s not looking right.”
He concluded: “I’m doing this because I want us to be able to go out and, if something isn’t quite right, it will be OK because people will now know that she has Alzheimer’s and will accept it for what it is.”
Scott added that Barbara has made the decision to retire from her charity work as well as acting, as the disease takes hold.