Dame Barbara Windsor and actor Chadwick Boseman: our Icons of the Year / Picture Credits: PA Images
Dame Barbara Windsor and actor Chadwick Boseman: our Icons of the Year / Picture Credits: PA Images

For The Female First Awards 2020, we thought we’d bring a new category into the fold to round things off: Icon of the Year. Things have of course felt a little differently over the past 12 months, so it’s more important than ever before to shine a light on the work done by some of the most entertaining, ambitious and memorable stars the world has ever seen.

That’s why, to kick our award off with as much pride as possible, we’ll actually be naming two icons for the award this year.

So, the winners of the Icon of the Year Award are: Dame Barbara Windsor DBE and Chadwick Boseman.

Actor Chadwick Boseman was one in a million / Picture Credit: Tammie Arroyo/AFF-USA.COM/AFF/PA Images
Actor Chadwick Boseman was one in a million / Picture Credit: Tammie Arroyo/AFF-USA.COM/AFF/PA Images

Back in August 2020, the world lost one of its brightest rising stars when Black Panther lead Chadwick Boseman passed away. The actor had been battling colon cancer away from the spotlight, never giving details to the media or his fans about his condition and instead only informing his closest loved ones.

He had been diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, which progressed over the next four years to stage IV.

Boseman's final movie, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, recently premiered on Netflix to rave reviews.

Despite the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe character T’Challa that he brought to the big screen, the big wigs over at Marvel Studios have promised they won’t be recasting the role, instead allowing Boseman’s legacy as the first black superhero to enjoy the lead in a film, intact.

Though his physical being may be gone, the spirit of this brilliant young talent is one that will live on forever.

Then there’s the always-excellent Dame Barbara Windsor DBE.

Scott Mitchell and Dame Barbara Windsor on the way to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2019 / Picture Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images
Scott Mitchell and Dame Barbara Windsor on the way to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2019 / Picture Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

Best-known for her roles in the hilarious Carry On films and of course, as the vicious landlord of the Queen Victoria pub in EastEnders’ Albert Square, Peggy Mitchell, Windsor proved time and again that whilst she may be a small woman in stature, her personality and talents were able to grow to new heights with every passing performance.

In April 2014, Windsor was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, though the condition wasn't made public until May of 2018. The announcement was made to raise more awareness surrounding the disease, which led to her husband Scott Mitchell joining some of Windsor's EastEnders co-stars to run the London Marathon in aid of a dementia campaign.

On her 82nd birthday in August 2019, Windsor and Mitchell became ambassadors for the Alzheimer's Society, jumping straight into work and encouraging as many people as possible to sign a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to address the challenges those with the disease face. Both Windsor and Mitchell later met the PM to deliver the letter, and for a frank and honest discussion.

Following her movement to a care home in August 2020, Windsor died aged 83 on December 10th, 2020.

With not just a legacy in the world of showbiz, but one that will undoubtedly help countless other people suffering from Alzheimer’s, Windsor is a woman we will all admire to our own final days.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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