Best Film Carry On Spying Best Character Babs in Carry On Camping Silliest Name Goldie Lockes in Carry On Again Doctor Films 10 - Spying, Doctor, Again Doctor, Camping, Henry, Abroad, Matron, Girls, Dick, That's Best Line In Spying, Mr Simpkins, gets his gun out from his holster speedily. When 'Brown Cow`(Barbara) sees this she comments, "Oh, Mr Simpkins, I hope I can get my draws off as fast as you can!".
Shirley Eaton and Liz Fraser had supplied the romantic interests for the first couple of films, that was until Barbara Windsor bubbled into the series with Carry On Spying and brought with her a new dimension to the Carry On series. Her Cockney innocence contradicted her looks, being seductive and sexy which fits in very well with Carry On postcard humour.
5 films passed before she swept on to the screen and then out of the 31 films, she only appeared in 10, and it a testament to her on-screen charm that you cannot think of Carry On without her. As a Secret Agent in Spying she comes across really as window dressing, being relatively unimportant to the plot. The only time she gets the better of the men is with her photographic memory, but she does come up with one of the best lines of the film when Mr Simpkins (Kenneth Williams) removes his gun from his holster speedily, to which she replies, "Oh, Mr Simpkins, I hope I can get my draws off as fast as you can!" This is Talbot Rothwell 's writing at its finest.
Carry On Doctor sees her taking the role of a nurse, wiggling her way through the hospital, and up to the ambulance driver, who is eating fruit. Barbara says to him, "Lovely pear", and the ambulance driver says, "I was just about to say the same thing!" She then goes on to cause mayhem in the hospital by sunbathing nude on the roof. Carry On Camping sees her in possibly her most memorable role, as a 16 year old school girl on a camping trip, showing off all her assets when her bra, predictably, bursts open in a keep fit session.
In Again Doctor the boot is on the other foot, when she refuses all Dr Nookey's advances until after they are married, and her persona is being developed to equal the male characters of the series. Henry is another classic Babs role, in which she plays Bettina, daughter of the Lord of Bristol (!!), scheming to marry the King, but Matron sees her back in nurses uniform again, but this time her character is more sympathetic.
When you mention Barbara Windsor's name, which other Carry Oner's name comes to mind? Sid James. She has appeared as the object of Sid's affections in half of her roles and these are the scenes that work the best. In Henry we see her flirting with the King (Sid), where she says, "My Mother says I must save myself until I have a husband." "Well, that's alright", he replies, "I am a husband". "That's right, so you are, aren't you", she replies with her trademark sexy giggle.
In Dick, her last Carry On, Sid seemed more lecherous and less loving, which the censors agreed was unfit for a family film. But she does make a welcome return commentating the clips in That's Carry On with Kenneth Williams. You can see that they are enjoying themselves, and indeed they did get on well in their personal lives, and in fact, when Barbara married Ronnie Knight, Kenny and his mother went with them on their honeymoon.
Barbara was born 6th August 1937 in Shoreditch, London as Barbara-Ann Deeks. Her mother was a dressmaker and her father was a bus conductor. She was bright at school but her parents wanted her to go to university, but she convinced them otherwise by appearing in a dance school show which led to her being invited to take a part in the local pantomime, but the school authorities disapproved of the missed school that would be needed for her to take part in the rehearsals and she was eventually asked to leave. Her mother spent her savings on a place at the famous Ada Foster Acting School, where the tutors, perhaps mistakenly, tried to iron out her Cockney accent. Luckily, Joan Littlewood, the producer who was committed to working-class theatre that transformed the London stage at that time, spotted Barbara at an audition and gave her the role which changed her life, the perky Rosie in Fings Ain't What They Used To Be. She then went on to appear in Littlewood's Oh! What A Lovely War and toured the United States with it.
Inevitably, the big screen would call and she made her screen debut with a small part in The Belles of St Trinians, playing a leggy school girl (what else!). She had several other roles before getting the lead in the high-spirited comedy Sparrows Can't Sing and this was a momentous time as Peter Rogers was in the audience and offered her the roles which established her as a talented comedy actress.
She has worked extensively in television, taking the lead in the third series of the Rag Trade, playing Nancy in Worzel Gummidge, and most famously now, moving away from her Carry On image, playing Peggy in Eastenders. At the time Eastenders started, she was desperate for a part in Eastenders and was turned down because her face was too well known, but years later, she succeeded.
Although her professional career has been quite successful, her personal life is a somewhat different matter. She married Ronnie Knight, a known London criminal, and had to put up with that side of his life, which reached a peak when he was arrested for a murder. Another burden on her personal life was the initially unwanted infatuation Sid James had with her, and after numerous declines of sleeping together, she thought the best solution would be to actually sleep with him so that he could "get it out of his system". This, in hindsight, was a mistake because the infatuation continued, and Sid continued pestering her and she relented eventually and started a full-blown affair which was reasonably dangerous for Sid due to her husband's connections. Eventually things came to a head between them and she finished the affair.
Chronologically (except Carry Ons)
Externally linked to IMDB
Cor Blimey! (TV)
Nearly Complete and Utter History of Everything, The (TV)
Double Vision (TV)
Norbert Smith, a Life (TV)
It Couldn't Happen Here
Worzel Gummidge (TV)
Not Now Darling
Boy Friend, The
Wild, Wild Women (TV)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
San Ferry Ann
Study in Terror, A
Crooks in Cloisters
Sparrows Can't Sing
Rag Trade, The (TV)
Flame in the Streets
Hair of the Dog
On the Fiddle
Make Mine a Million
Too Hot to Handle
Belles of St. Trinian's, The