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Australian entertainer Barry Humphries dies aged 89

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Australian entertainer Barry Humphries dies aged 89

Australian entertainer Barry Humphries has died at the age of 89.

During a seven-decade career, the stage and screen veteran entertained generations with satirical characters including Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.

A spokesperson for St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney confirmed Humphries’ death on Saturday evening.

“I can confirm Barry Humphries passed away this evening Sydney time, around 7pm on Saturday evening (11am GMT).”

Humphries was admitted to St Vincent’s after suffering complications following hip surgery last month.

Dame Edna on LWT / ITV in the early 1970s

Barry’s two biggest characters: Dame Edna and Sir Les Patterson (LWT)

He became a mainstay of the British comedy circuit after moving from Australia to London in 1959 and appearing in shows such as Maggie May and Oliver! in the West End.

His best known alter-ego, Dame Edna Everage, was instantly recognisable by her lilac wig, extravagant spectacles, and greeting “Hello possums!”.

The comedy Dame was best known for her work with ITV including chat show The Dame Edna Experience which drew big star names to her sofa while game show Dame Edna’s Neighbourhood Watch saw her poking around viewers homes to discover more about their lives.

The Australian housewife also was the star of two An Audience With programmes from London Weekend Television.

As well as Dame Edna Everage, he also appeared as the lecherous Sir Les Patterson and Sandy Stone, an elderly, childless man living in the suburbs.

Very First ‘The Dame Edna Experience’ 1987 / LWT

A statement from Humphries 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.”

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