Barry Humphries, the Australian comic legend and the creator of Dame Edna Everage, has died aged 89.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Humphries passed away earlier today (April 22) at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital where he was being treated for various health issues.
Humphries was admitted to hospital back in February after falling in his Sydney apartment and injuring his hip. He received a hip replacement shortly afterwards.
“I have to get back on my feet,” he said in an interview shortly after the operation. “I’m going back on tour later this year. The result of my broken hip means I now have a titanium hip. You can call me Bionic Bazza.”
However, earlier this week it was reported Humphries was readmitted to hospital, following complications from the surgery.
A statement from his family read: “He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit.
“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.”
The Australian comedian’s most famous creation was Dame Edna Everage, who became a hit in the UK in the 1970s and was used by Humphries to satirise the cult of celebrity, class snobbery, and prudishness as well as poking fun at political leaders and fashion.
Dame Edna went on to host her own TV show The Dame Edna Everage Experience in the late 1980s and wrote several books.
As well as playing Dame Edna and lecherous drunk cultural attaché Sir Les Patterson, Humphries voiced Bruce the shark in the film Finding Nemo and appeared in Spice World, The Hobbit and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
Following the news of his passing, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wrote: “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.A great wit, satirist, writer and an absolute one-of-kind, he was both gifted and a gift.”
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. pic.twitter.com/oSAKpxPGae
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) April 22, 2023
Fans have also taken to Twitter to share choice moments from his 50-year career including the time Dame Edna walked into the Royal Box during The Royal Variety Performance and the time Humphries mixed Dermot O’Leary up with Philip Schofield on This Morning.
Dame Edna infiltrates the Royal Box, so to speak. This is fabulous!
God bless Barry Humphries x pic.twitter.com/6JYzPeEd1P
— James Hogg (@JamesAHogg2) April 22, 2023
RIP Barry Humphries. This is probably my all-time favourite clip of his. Class, and so dead pan as well … pic.twitter.com/DUEnTktQ6w
— Simon Harris – Man Behaving Dadly (THAT’S DADLY) (@simonharris_mbd) April 22, 2023
Tributes have also been flooding social media following the news of Barry Humphries death from fellow comedians and fans.
‘Seeing Barry Humphries live was like being struck by a thunderbolt. I had never laughed so much in my life. That anyone could be so hilarious was magic. Off-stage he was elegant & sophisticated but just as funny as Dame Edna. A lethal wit, fast & fearless he was the greatest’. D pic.twitter.com/j3155VHNV6
— David Walliams HQ (@davidwalliams) April 22, 2023
RIP Barry Humphries. A true great who inspired me immeasurably. It was a delight to call him my friend.
I've been in Australia and was with him only 3 days ago. He was, as ever, making me laugh. His talent shone until the very end.
My love goes out to Lizzie and all the family. pic.twitter.com/G5aJfLiVkK
— Rob Brydon (@RobBrydon) April 22, 2023
Farewell, Barry Humphries, you Comedy genius.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 22, 2023
A bit bittersweet doing gigs in Australia this evening, Barry Humphries has passed and no one will ever be as good at crowd work again. pic.twitter.com/DY8M6enj37
— Jimmy Carr (@jimmycarr) April 22, 2023
“Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. After all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.” ~ Dame Edna Everage
A very sad day. Australian comedy great Barry Humphries dies in hospital aged 89 https://t.co/o15GhY7Rl8
— Whores of Yore (@WhoresofYore) April 22, 2023
RIP Barry Humphries, 89.
One of the funniest people I’ve ever met. A wondrously intelligent, entertaining, daring, provocative, mischievous comedy genius. As hilarious in private as he was as the iconic Dame Edna. What a life, what a character. Thanks for all the laughs, Barry. pic.twitter.com/M9tHIW2IY7
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 22, 2023
So sad to hear that Barry Humphries has left us. He was way ahead of his time, one of my all time Heroes. Dame Edna my Heroine. Thank you for the Joy of your brilliance & comedy. Your sparkles will light the skies with laughter. RIP Sir/Mam ♥️💔🙏🏻💖✨
— 💧Jane Barnes (@jane13barnes) April 22, 2023
RIP Dame Edna you gave me endless hours of laughter thank you
— Barry (@zola155) April 22, 2023
I first saw #DameEdna on my 25th birthday. She picked on me which was exhilarating, terrifying & a comedy masterclass. I last saw her on my 40th. #barryhumphries heard & invited me backstage. It was exhilarating, any terror fled by his kindness, and the greatest comedy honour.
— Miranda Hart (@mermhart) April 22, 2023
RIP DAME EDNA 😢❤️
17th Feb 1934 – 22 April 2023
"Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. After all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century." pic.twitter.com/1lGSajupfM
— Drag Queen Story Hour UK® ️🏳️🌈🇬🇧 (@DragStoryHourUK) April 22, 2023
Absolutely heartbreaking news that Barry Humphries has died. A comic genius, an adorable man & loved by all. We will never see his like again. His recent sold out hysterical one man show will form part of his amazing legacy. RIP dear friend. RIP Dame Edna RIP Sir Les Paterson 😢 pic.twitter.com/AgKLPjqZxF
— Elaine Paige (@elaine_paige) April 22, 2023
You will be mourned Barry Humphries 😔
I only met you a few times but that look in your eyes full of bright intelligence and mischief, knowing trouble was ahead and looking forward to every special second of it: I'll never forget it. Thank you Sir.
A genius 🖤 pic.twitter.com/duIRf3yKGv
— Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders) April 22, 2023
I wonder if all geniuses are as lovely as Barry Humphries. Thank you for delighting and inspiring us. Quite simply, you were the greatest. pic.twitter.com/86scyP449b
— Matt Lucas HQ (@RealMattLucas) April 22, 2023
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! pic.twitter.com/5YuozMmzHI
— Jason Donovan (@JDonOfficial) April 22, 2023
Barry Humphries was a genius. He was always so funny, so sly and so terrifying. A brilliant comic mind. We have lost a legend. RIP.
— Reece Shearsmith (@ReeceShearsmith) April 22, 2023
RIP Barry Humphries, one of the absolute funniest people ever. A huge life, lived long and well. He will be missed.
— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) April 22, 2023
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