CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Tony Award-winning comedian Barry Humphreys is internationally known for his charming stage persona as Dame Edna Everage, a brooding and imperfectly veiled snob whose burgeoning character has spanned seven decades. Delighted the audience, passed away. He was 89 years old.
His death was confirmed on Saturday at a Sydney hospital where he spent several days with complications following hip surgery.
Humphreys lived in London for decades and returned to his native Australia for Christmas in December.
He told The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper last month that his physiotherapy had been “painful” after his fall and hip replacement.
“It was the funniest thing, like all domestic incidents. I was reaching for a book, my foot caught on the carpet or something, and I went down,” Humphries said of his fall. I said.
Humphries has been an active entertainer, touring the UK last year with his one-man show “The Man Behind the Mask”.
The role of Dame Edna originated as the dowager Mrs. Norm Everage, who first appeared on stage in Humphries’ hometown of Melbourne in the mid-1950s. It reflected the post-war suburban inertia and cultural convergence that Humphreys found stifling.
Edna is one of Humphreys’ many enduring characters. The next most famous is Sir Les Peterson, the ever-drunk, disheveled and rude Australian cultural attache.
Peterson reflected the perception of Australia as a Western cultural wasteland that drove Humphreys as well as many leading Australian intellectuals to London.
Humphreys, a law school dropout, achieved great success as an actor, writer and entertainer in Britain in the 1970s, 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 her Broadway show “Dame Edna: The Royal Tour.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albany paid tribute to the legendary comedian.
“For 89 years, Barry Humphries entertained us through a galaxy of personalities from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone,” Albany tweeted, referring to the elderly Stone, one of Humphries’ most enduring characters. . “But the brightest star in this galaxy was always Barry. A great wit, satirist, writer and one of a kind, he was both a gift and a gift.”
British comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted: “Goodbye, Barry Humphries, you’re a comedy genius.”
British television personality Piers Morgan also paid tribute. “One of the funniest people I’ve ever met,” Morgan tweeted.
“An amazingly intelligent, entertaining, brave, outrageous, mischievous comedic genius,” added Morgan.
Married four times, he is survived by his wife Lizzie Spender and four children.
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