Australian comedian Barrie Humphreys has passed away at the age of 89.
Humphreys – best known for his comedy roles including Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson – died in hospital on Saturday (22 April), surrounded by his family.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that the comedian had been admitted to a Sydney hospital with “serious health problems” following complications with recent hip replacement surgery.
A spokesperson for St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney confirmed that the actor passed away at around 7am AEST on Saturday (April 22).
A statement from his family read: “He was completely himself to the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique intelligence and generosity of spirit.
“With over 70 years on stage, he was an entertainer to his core, touring until the last year of his life and planning more shows which sadly will not happen.”
He continued: “His listeners were precious to him, and he never took them for granted. Although he may be best remembered for his work in the theatre, he was also a painter, writer, poet and collector and lover of all forms of art.
“He was also a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend and confidante to many. His passing leaves a void in so many lives.
“The characters he created who made millions laugh will live on.”
appearing on sunrise On 19 April on Channel Seven, journalist Peter Ford announced that there were “serious concerns” for Humphreys, for whom things were looking “difficult”.
In February, the great comedian was forced to undergo surgery after tripping on the rug at home.
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After the operation, he was given a titanium hip. Humphreys later joked that he could now be called a “bionic bazaar”.
in an interview with Sydney Morning Herald In March, Humphreys recalled that he was in “pain” after the incident and was having “very painful” sessions with a physiotherapist.
However, he disregarded any concerns for his health, telling the publication: “I’ve got to get back on my feet… I’m going back on tour later this year. The result of my broken hip means That I now have a titanium hip… You can call me a bionic bazaa.”
Tributes poured in for Humphreys following the news, including a message from Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
“A great wit, satirist, writer and an absolute one-of-a-kind, he was both gifted and gifted,” Albanese said.
The Melbourne-born entertainer moved to London in 1959, where he appeared in West End productions such as Maggie May And Oliver!
Dame Edna – arguably Humphreys’ most famous character, instantly recognizable by her purple hair and extravagant glasses – first appeared in the fifties when she was living in Australia.
The character was a parody of suburban housewives that Humphries based his mother on.
His other credits include appearances in dazzle (1967), Spice World (1997), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016).
More to follow…