Dame Edna star Barry Humphries dies aged 89

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By Kim Novak

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Australian comedian Barry Humphries, best known for his drag persona Dame Edna Everage, has died at the age of 89.

Shortly before his death, Humphries had been readmitted to hospital following complications after hip surgery last month.

The entertainer had played Dame Edna, his lilac-haired drag persona, on stage and television for over 60 years, finding worldwide fame.

His family confirmed the sad news and shared a statement with fans, reading: "He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit."

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Humprhies was best known for his character of Dame Edna Everage. Credit: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy

"With over 70 years on the stage, he was an entertainer to his core, touring up until the last year of his life and planning more shows that will sadly never be.

"His audiences were precious to him, and he never took them for granted. Although he may be best remembered for his work in theatre, he was a painter, author, poet, and a collector and lover of art in all its forms.

"He was also a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and a friend and confidant to many. His passing leaves a void in so many lives.

"The characters he created, which brought laughter to millions, will live on."

So wide-spread was Humphries' appeal that Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese even paid tribute, saying in a statement: "For 89 years, Barry Humphries entertained us through a galaxy of personas, from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone.

"But the brightest star in that galaxy was always Barry. A great wit, satirist, writer, and an absolute one-of-kind, he was both gifted and a gift. May he rest in peace."

Dame Edna was best-known by her catchphrase "Hello possums", as well as her flamboyant sparkling gowns and colorful oversized glasses.

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Barry Humphries enjoyed a 70-year career in comedy. Credit: PjrNews / Alamy

Other characters included Sandy Stone, an old man who lived in the world of his youth, and Sir Les Patterson, an uncouth drunk who held several fictional diplomatic positions.

Humphries became a staple in the British comedy circuit after moving to London in 1959 and appearing in West End shows.

Comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted: "Farewell, Barry Humphries, you Comedy genius," while actor and singer Jason Donovan added: "Australia has lost one of its greatest. Funny, literate and fiercely intelligent, Barry Humphries was quite simply an entertaining genius.

"The characters he created brought laughter to millions... My thoughts are with family on this sad day."

Humphries, who was married four times, is survived by his wife Lizzie Spender and four children.

Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.

Featured image credit: michael farenden / Alamy

Dame Edna star Barry Humphries dies aged 89

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

Australian comedian Barry Humphries, best known for his drag persona Dame Edna Everage, has died at the age of 89.

Shortly before his death, Humphries had been readmitted to hospital following complications after hip surgery last month.

The entertainer had played Dame Edna, his lilac-haired drag persona, on stage and television for over 60 years, finding worldwide fame.

His family confirmed the sad news and shared a statement with fans, reading: "He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit."

wp-image-1263207783 size-full
Humprhies was best known for his character of Dame Edna Everage. Credit: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy

"With over 70 years on the stage, he was an entertainer to his core, touring up until the last year of his life and planning more shows that will sadly never be.

"His audiences were precious to him, and he never took them for granted. Although he may be best remembered for his work in theatre, he was a painter, author, poet, and a collector and lover of art in all its forms.

"He was also a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and a friend and confidant to many. His passing leaves a void in so many lives.

"The characters he created, which brought laughter to millions, will live on."

So wide-spread was Humphries' appeal that Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese even paid tribute, saying in a statement: "For 89 years, Barry Humphries entertained us through a galaxy of personas, from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone.

"But the brightest star in that galaxy was always Barry. A great wit, satirist, writer, and an absolute one-of-kind, he was both gifted and a gift. May he rest in peace."

Dame Edna was best-known by her catchphrase "Hello possums", as well as her flamboyant sparkling gowns and colorful oversized glasses.

wp-image-1263207781 size-full
Barry Humphries enjoyed a 70-year career in comedy. Credit: PjrNews / Alamy

Other characters included Sandy Stone, an old man who lived in the world of his youth, and Sir Les Patterson, an uncouth drunk who held several fictional diplomatic positions.

Humphries became a staple in the British comedy circuit after moving to London in 1959 and appearing in West End shows.

Comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted: "Farewell, Barry Humphries, you Comedy genius," while actor and singer Jason Donovan added: "Australia has lost one of its greatest. Funny, literate and fiercely intelligent, Barry Humphries was quite simply an entertaining genius.

"The characters he created brought laughter to millions... My thoughts are with family on this sad day."

Humphries, who was married four times, is survived by his wife Lizzie Spender and four children.

Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.

Featured image credit: michael farenden / Alamy