She died peacefully at 8.35pm on Thursday at a London care home with her husband Scott Mitchell by her side, after suffering from dementia.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Dame Barbara had “campaigned for the lonely and the vulnerable – and cheered the world up with her own British brand of harmless sauciness and innocent scandal”.
In a moving tribute, Mr Mitchell called her his “precious Bar” and said: “I’ve lost my wife, my best friend and soulmate and my heart or life will never feel the same without you.”
He said she had died from Alzheimer’s and he had spent the last seven days by her side.
“It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve,” he said.
“I will always be immensely proud of Barbara’s courage, dignity and generosity dealing with her own illness and still trying to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.”
Mr Mitchell said her final weeks were “typical of how she lived her life”, being “full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end”.