Dame Edna star Barry Humphries dies aged 89 as tributes pour in

22 Apr 2023, 11:56
22 Apr 2023, 12:03

Barry Humphries, Dame Edna, Deaths

Dame Edna star Barry Humphries has died at the age of 89, it has been confirmed.

Tributes to the iconic star poured in from around the world, as the much-loved Australian comedian, actor, author and satirist passed away.

Early on April 19, news broke that the star had been rushed to hospital following complications from a hip replacement. He underwent surgery after tripping on a rug while grabbing a book back in February.

Australian journalist Peter Ford claimed sources had told him Barry’s condition had “worsened” in recent weeks. As a result, it was claimed that his family had rushed to his bedside.

Barry Humphries, the man behind Dame Edna, has died at the age of 89 (Credit: YouTube)

Dame Edna star Barry Humphries dead aged 89

Barry died on Saturday at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. He died surrounded by his immediate family, including his wife Lizzie Spender.

His family said in a statement: “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.”

They added: “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 ​a​​​​rt 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.”

Barry’s family released a statement today (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Tributes have poured in online. One person said: “There are no words to accurately quantify #BarryHumphries’ contribution to the world as we know it. We have lost a comic genius and a beautiful soul . R.I.P. Barry much love and respect… sincere condolences to Lizzie and family.”

Another wrote: “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.” Someone else tweeted: “Farewell to my favourite person. Heartbroken. RIP dearest darling.”

Someone else said: “This is very sad. What a phenomenal talent. Its a cliche to say someone has funny bones, but cliches are often true, and he had some of the funniest.”

Barry’s hip replacement

At the time of his fall Barry said that he was in “agony”. However, he said that he hoped to be back on his feet soon for his one-man show, which was slated for later this year.

Barry said: “I have to get back on my feet. 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.”

Barry created Dame Edna when he was aged just 21 (Credit: YouTube)

The birth of Dame Edna

Throughout his career, Barry met and charmed most of the Royal Family, from the late Queen Mother to King Charles III. He played Dame Edna since 1955.

He also left Dermot O’Leary in fits of giggle as he confused him for Phillip Schofield during one memorable appearance on This Morning.

Barry was just 21 when he created the persona for which he would later become world-famous. He was  married four times and has four children – Oscar, Tessa, Rupert and Emily.

He lived in London with his wife Lizzie Spender but had been in Australia since December.

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