CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Tony Award-winning comedian Barrie Humphries, famous for his flamboyant stage persona, plays Dame Edna Everage, a condescending and imperfectly veiled snob whose evolved character has delighted audiences for seven decades, hip Sydney is in hospital with complications after. surgery.
St Vincent’s Hospital on Friday described the 89-year-old’s condition as stable and dismissed media reports that he was unresponsive.
Humphries was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday following hip replacement surgery last month. The surgery was done after a fall in February.
His publicist Wendy Day said there had been no change in Humphries’ condition since Thursday and he was resting.
Seven Network entertainment reporter Peter Ford said three of Humphries’ four children had been to the hospital by their father’s bedside, two of them from London.
Ford told Perth Radio 6PR, “Early in the week his children were told that if they wanted to come to see him it would be appropriate … and they are all there now with his wife Lizzie.”
Humphreys has lived in London for decades and returned to Australia in December to spend Christmas in his homeland during the Southern Hemisphere summer.
He told The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper last month that his physiotherapy after his fall and hip replacement had been “torment”.
“It was the most ridiculous thing, like all household incidents are. I was reaching for a book, my foot caught on the rug or something and I went down,” Humphries said of his fall.
Humphreys remains an active entertainer, having toured the UK with his one-man show “The Man Behind the Mask” last year.
The character of Dame Edna began as the dowager Mrs Norm Everage, first appearing on stage in Humphreys’ hometown of Melbourne in the mid-1950s. It reflected the post-war suburban inertia and cultural dullness that Humphreys found suffocating.
Edna is one of Humpy’s many permanent characters. The next most famous is Sir Les Patterson, the ever-drunk, disheveled and promiscuous Australian cultural attache.
Patterson reflected on the perception of Australia as a Western cultural wasteland that sent Humphreys to London with a number of leading Australian intellectuals.
Humphreys, a law school dropout, found great success in Britain in the 1970s as an actor, writer and entertainer, but the United States was an ambition he found stubbornly elusive.
A high point in the United States was a Tony Award in 2000 for his Broadway show “Dame Edna: The Royal Tour”.