Dame Edna producer Barrie Humphreys dies aged 89 in Sydney


Tony Award-winning comic Barrie Humphreys, internationally famend for his flamboyant stage persona as Dame Edna Everage, a condescending and imperfectly veiled snob whose advanced character delighted audiences for seven many years, has died. Has been. He was 89 years outdated.

His dying at a Sydney hospital, the place he spent a number of days with problems following hip surgical procedure, was confirmed by his household.

A household assertion mentioned, “He was utterly himself to the tip, by no means shedding his sensible thoughts, his distinctive intelligence and generosity of spirit.”

“With over 70 years on stage, he was his unique entertainer, touring till the final 12 months of his life and planning extra exhibits that sadly won’t ever occur,” he mentioned.

Performer Barrie Humphreys as Sir Les Patterson performs on the BBC Poems’ Final Evening on the Royal Albert Corridor in London, September 15, 2009. , Picture Credit score: AP

Mr Humphreys had lived in London for many years and returned to native Australia in December for Christmas.

They informed Sydney Morning Herald The newspaper mentioned final month that his physiotherapy after his fall and hip substitute had been “painful”.

“It was essentially the most ridiculous factor, like all home incidents. I used to be reaching for a ebook, my foot bought caught in a rug or one thing, and I went down,” Mr Humphreys mentioned of his fall. .

Mr. Humphreys stays an energetic entertainer, touring the UK together with his one-man present “The Man Behind the Masks” final 12 months.

The character of Dame Edna started because the dowager Mrs Norm Everage, first showing on stage in Mr Humphreys’ hometown of Melbourne within the mid-1950s. They mirrored a post-war suburban inertia and cultural dullness that Mr. Humphreys discovered stifling.

Edna is one in every of a number of everlasting characters in Mr. Humphreys. The following most well-known is Sir Les Patterson, the ever-drunk, matted and promiscuous Australian cultural attache.

Patterson mirrored on the notion of Australia as a Western cultural wasteland that despatched Humphreys to London with various main Australian intellectuals.

Actress Joan Collins and actor Barrie Humphreys pose during a party to celebrate the 180th anniversary of the weekly political magazine The Spectator held at the Churchill Hyatt Hotel in central London on May 7, 2008.

Actress Joan Collins and actor Barrie Humphreys throughout a celebration to have a good time the 180th anniversary of the weekly politics journal The Spectator held on the Churchill Hyatt Lodge in central London on Could 7, 2008. Picture Credit score: AP

Mr. Humphreys, a legislation faculty dropout, discovered nice success in Britain within the 1970s as an actor, author and entertainer, however america was an ambition he discovered stubbornly elusive.

A excessive level in america was a Tony Award in 2000 for his Broadway present “Dame Edna: The Royal Tour”.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to the legendary comic.

“For 89 years, Barrie Humphreys entertained us by way of a galaxy of personalities, from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone,” tweeted Albanese, referring to one in every of Humphreys’ most enduring characters, the sullen and belligerent Stone . “However the brightest star in that galaxy was all the time Barry. An important wit, satirist, author and a wacko, he was each a genius and a present.

British comic Ricky Gervais tweeted: “Farewell, Barry Humphries, you comedy genius.”

Piers Morgan, British tv character, tweeted: “One of many funniest individuals I’ve ever met.”

“An amazingly clever, amusing, daring, provocative, mischievous comedy genius,” mentioned Mr. Morgan.

The multi-talented Mr. Humphreys was additionally a revered character actor with quite a few stage and display credit, creator of novels and an autobiography, and an achieved panorama painter.

John Barry Humphreys was born on February 17, 1934 in Melbourne. His dad and mom had been easygoing, loving, and strait-laced, and so they should have considered their eldest son, whom they referred to as Sunny Sam. His mom used to inform him to cease drawing consideration to himself.

Earlier than he ended up on the prestigious Melbourne Grammar College, Humphreys was extra all for artwork and secondhand bookshops than soccer. At age 16 his favourite creator was Kafka and he later mentioned that he “felt somewhat alien.”

He spent two years on the College of Melbourne, the place he embraced Dadaism – the subversive, anarchic and absurdist European artwork motion.

His contributions included “Puss in Boots,” waterproof rubber boots full of custard, and on the efficiency artwork facet, boarding a tram with an apparently blind companion referred to as Mr. Humphreys “Get out of my manner” You disgusting blind particular person.

In 1959, he settled in London and shortly started working at Peter Prepare dinner’s comedy venue The Institution. He referred to as “Oliver!” Sowerberry within the unique London manufacturing of in 1960 and reprized the position on Broadway. He appeared in “Treasure Island” with Spike Milligan and William Rushton.

Mr Humphries, together with New Zealand artist Nicholas Garland, created the Barrie McKenzie sketch in 1964 for the satirical journal Non-public Eye.

When the strips appeared in ebook kind, it was banned by the Australian authorities as a result of it “relied on indecency for its humour.”

By then Mr. Humphreys’s consuming had gotten uncontrolled. In Melbourne within the late 1970s, he was accused of being drunk and disorderly. He ultimately admitted himself to a hospital specializing in alcoholism for remedy that may make him a lifelong sober.

In 1972 got here the primary Barry McKenzie movie – financially backed by the Australian authorities, regardless of an earlier ban. It was panned by reviewers, primarily as a result of they had been cautious of how the world’s first movie to characteristic beer-induced vomiting would have an effect on Australia’s picture abroad.

But it surely was a well-liked success and a sequel adopted two years later involving the then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam Knighting Edna, Mr MacKenzie’s aunt.

Married 4 occasions, he’s survived by his spouse, Lizzie Spender, 4 kids and 10 grandchildren.

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