In pictures: Career of Dame Barbara Windsor

image captionDame Barbara said: "For a girl from the East End born into a working-class family and an evacuee during World War Two, this is truly like a dream. I am so happy and blessed to say it's real."

Actress Barbara Windsor has been made a dame in the Queen's New Year Honours list for her services to entertainment and charity.

The 78-year-old actress is famed for being part of the classic Carry On... line up but also became a household name to a new generation of TV viewers through her role as landlady Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders.

Here, in pictures, is a look back at her career, which spans seven decades.

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image captionBarbara Ann Deeks was born in Shoreditch, east London in 1937 to fruit and veg seller John Deeks and his wife Rose. She trained at the Aida Foster School for drama and dance and made her West End debut in 1952. Her first film role came at the age of 17 opposite Alistair Sim and George Cole in The Belles of St Trinian's.
image captionDame Barbara received a Bafta nomination for the film Sparrers Can't Sing in 1963 and a Tony award nomination for the 1964 Broadway production of Oh, What A Lovely War! A naturally gifted comic actress, she appeared in BBC sitcoms like The Rag Trade and comedy playhouse productions including The Hen House and Meter Maids (pictured).
image copyrightRex Features
image captionBetween 1964 and 1974, Dame Barbara appeared in no less than nine Carry On films. Though her debut was Carry On Spying in 1964, she is perhaps remembered best as Nurse Sandra May in Carry On Doctor (1967).
image copyrightKeystone
image captionShe had a widely publicised 10-year affair with her co-star Sid James while both were married. It was later portrayed in the ITV drama Cor Blimey!, on which Dame Barbara acted as an advisor. "I cared deeply for him," she recalled. "I didn't at first, he was just my leading man and I used to push him off. But he was an old-fashioned charmer, opening doors and all the rest of it, making you feel like a lady. So our relationship was inevitable." James died in 1976.
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image captionDame Barbara's love life was as colourful as the characters she played. Married three times, her first husband was Ronnie Knight (top left), an associate of crime bosses, Ronnie and Reggie Kray. She is said to have had a fling with Reggie (pictured above). She has been married to her current husband Scott Mitchell since 2000.
image captionIn 1994, Dame Barbara was introduced to EastEnders' residents of Albert Square as the fierce matriarch and landlady of the Queen Vic pub Peggy Mitchell, the mother to thuggish brothers Phil (right) and Grant.
image captionEastEnders saw her reunited with one of her showbiz pals Mike Reid, who played second-hand car salesman and wheeler-dealer Frank Butcher. The pair married on the show but split after his character's affair. They appeared together in Reid's Show of the Week (above left) in 1975.
image captionShe had several stints on the show, leaving in 2003 before returning in 2004 as a guest and, in 2005, as a series regular. She left again in 2010 and has made subsequent guest appearances. During her time on the Square she has battled breast cancer, been married twice and in 2010 saw the Queen Vic razed to the ground. In 2009, she was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the British Soap awards.
image captionDame Barbara returned to the set of EastEnders to take part in the show's 30th anniversary celebrations. She said of her time of the show. "It is no secret how much I have always loved EastEnders and Peggy Mitchell - and by the number of times I'm constantly stopped by the great British public and asked either 'when are you coming back' or 'please say get out of my pub'."
image copyrightOli Scarff
image captionIn 2010, she was presented with the freedom of the City of London. "I feel so important today," she said. "I just wish my mother was here because she always wanted me to be posh, my mum, and I could finally say, 'Look mum, at last!'."
image captionA lifelong charity campaigner and supporter of the Variety Club and Children in Need (above) Dame Barbara, in 2012, also became a patron of the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

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