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All of Me: My Extraordinary Life [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Windsor
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £4.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

This ebook edition contains the full text version as per the book. Doesn't include original photographic and illustrated material. Born in the East End of London just before the war, Barbara Windsor made her first stage appearance at the age of 13. From her early roles as the original Carry On dolly bird to her hit as Peggy Mitchell in the award-winning BBC drama EastEnders, her spectacular success in theatre, film and TV has made her a British icon - the Cockney kid with a dazzling smile and talent to match. Here, for the first time, she talks in depth about the people and events that have shaped her career: her lonely childhood, her doomed marriage to Ronnie Knight, her legendary affairs, how she has never let her fans down whatever her personal anguish. This is the heart-warming story of a courageous woman and consummate performer who has always made sure the show goes on.

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Amazon Review

I always felt I was more than just a busty blonde with a giggle and a wiggle.

Barbara Windsor is forever enshrined in the national psyche as a cheeky Cockney, the blonde bombshell star of that quintessentially British creation, the Carry On film. Windsor's career in showbusiness has spanned an incredible 50 years--from her first appearance in pantomime at the age of 12, to soap-star matriarch behind the bar at the Queen Vic in Eastenders.

Windsor (born Barbara Deeks; the name-change came in 1952, Coronation year, and was "particularly apt") grew up torn between her rowing parents who nevertheless instilled in her a passion for film-going. Aware that her looks and cheeky air would get her work, Windsor secretly deplored being eternally typecast as a "bimbo in white stilettos" and saw herself instead as a "theatre comedy actress". Her comic talent and sheer capacity for hard work led her, after years of damp dressing rooms and end-of-the-pier shows, to an enduring status as an icon of sorts, her ultimate accolade being made an OBE in 2000.

Yet Windsor is almost as famous for her private life as she is for her public achievements, and she is exceptionally candid about her affairs--most notoriously with fellow Carry On star Sid James, though there was an occasion over some salt-beef sandwiches with jazzman Ronnie Scott ("I felt he had taken me on more for my bosom than for my singing"). There were also her abortions, her friendships with some of the biggest stars of the 60s--Kenneth Williams and she were so close that he came on her honeymoon--and she has always held a rather dubious affection for the Krays. Her first husband, Ronnie Knight, became Britain's most wanted man after his involvement in a robbery, her second sold his story to the tabloids after their marriage ended; she has recently married her third husband after a turbulent relationship. "I'd always been a grafter, not a whinger; always got out there and done it when the chips were down", writes Windsor and we never expect anything less of her.

The enjoyable and slightly scandalous All of Me is written in the best British tradition of self-deprecation, hard work, laughter and tears--with a touch of sauciness thrown in. Just like a Carry On film, in fact. --Kate Weaver


All Of Me was reviewed in the Express 1/9

`Barbara Windsor emerges from these pages as a personality both strong and sunny' Sunday Telegraph

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1369 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; New Ed edition (8 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009P3N1PY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,980 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lady Who Has Definitely Lived Her Life 9 Jan. 2001
This was a surprising Christmas gift but without question my favourite. This book tells of a ladies wonderful Highs in life, but very truthfully and explicitly of her Downs. A fascinating read and very difficult to put down once I began with it.Would recommend it to anyone and everyone.I would love to have this lady as a friend.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good, Quick Read 26 Aug. 2001
I am an American (and not a very old one at that) so I never saw the "Carry On" films. I first "met" Barbara Windsor when she toddled onto the screen as the second Peggy Mitchell on EastEnders. Hearing her referred to as a national treasure by many EE fans I thought that I would give the book a go. I'm not sorry that I did.
Overall, it was well-written in a colloquial way, however I wish that her editor had cleaned up a few things from spelling ("OK" for "okay") to facts (contrary to Miss Windsor's belief, there actually have been 2 full-scale wars fought on American soil - the Revolutionary War and the Civil War). Whatever weaknesses the book has, she seems likable and tells an interesting story.
Because I never saw her as the big breasted "Carry On" girl, I had no preconceived notions about who or what she is. I was ready to accept her at her word. From her unhappy, often unstable, childhood through her many abortions, affairs, and marriages she comes alive through the pages. She relays her life's experiences with a great deal of enthusiasm and wit, albeit with too much naivete to be believed. (If she really had no idea that Ronnie Knight was a gangster, how come she had Freddie Foreman's home phone number?) She seems to be attempting painful honesty about some things (abortions, affairs) yet glosses over other events (Knight's source of income, why she allowed her affair with Sid to continue.)
I have read several other television autobiographies (Martine McCutcheon's and Mike Reid's come to mind) and Miss Windsor seems to have put in the most effort to recall details and express herself clearly. If there are things that she chooses to fudge . . . well, they don't harm the book that much. And having liked her before, I like her better now for having read it.
Doing so was a quick, easy, interesting way to pass beach hours.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A frank story of good times and bad 12 April 2002
Format:Audio Cassette
An interesting biography that seems to split the story of her life into what shes done as an actress and ( more importantly according to the author ) what was going on in her private life. Many biographys seem to skim over the private aspects of their lives, but Barbara Windsor gives us a warts and all account of all her 'relationships' especially her affair with Sid James. An interesting read, but one which leaves you feeling that she could have been and done so much more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I bought this book to take on holiday. I had a peek beforehand and was hooked - unfortunately I was halfway through it before I left Gatwick. You cannot help but admire Windsor for her strength and determination to succeed she is frank and honest, never claiming to be holier than thou. If the truth be known what woman wouldn't secretly admire her but choose instead to stay at home and mop the kitchen floor. Barbara Winsor is her own person - you take her or leave her and she will do the same. She doesn't come across as an offensive person,though I'm sure there are those who could find this book a little offensive (so wake up and smell the coffee). Coming from the East End of London myself I can relate to certain places that are mentioned and Barbara Winsor has managed to convey the atmospshere perfectly. I loved this book, it has become part of a holiday memory.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars warts and all (almost) 4 July 2001
By A Customer
Whilst promoted as a no holds bar autobiography, I came away with the distinct feeling that Miss Windsor has been fairly selective on content. Except for one sentence towards the end of the book there is no reflection on the unusual number of terminated pregnancies. Perhaps, after all, we don't have a right to look into another's soul. Having said that however, Miss Windsor can do little wrong in my eyes. I found the book "unputdownable"!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising facts you wouldn't know 12 Aug. 2011
All of Me by Barbara Windsor, she really has led an extraordinary life when you read this book. Barbara is perhaps most well known for her roles in the Carry On movies. The one where her bra flew off whilst exercising been the most likely remembered. In more recent times she has appeared in Eastenders and also a bingo advert. This book tells us about her working life and her private life from her beginnings as a child named Barbara Deeks to changing her name to Windsor in 1952 through to her abortions her relationship with Syd James, she really does tell all.
I have to admit I really did love this book, it felt as though Barbara were telling her life story to me in her own words. If you love this type of tell all book this one is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining but not quite 'all of her' 16 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
On the whole I found this book a complete joy to read. It is very funny and interesting and when I finished the book I ended up wishing that Barbara was one of my friends. Barbara's life has not been a bed of roses but she has come through it with dignity and she has proved herself to be one of this country's best loved stars. The only criticism I had is that she is rather vague on the aspects of her life that you wished she had gone into more detail with; for example, her first husbands life of crime which is only briefly outlined really. Plus her many conquests in bedding various co-stars etc. She tells you who she went with but not why she ended up with them.
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