Barry Humphries, the renowned Australian actor, and satirist passes away at 89
Barry Humphries, known for his iconic comic alter egos, Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson, has passed away at the age of 89.
He had a long career in entertainment, appearing in over 20 films, authoring numerous books and stage plays, and entertaining audiences for over 70 years.
Born in Melbourne in 1934, Humphries moved to London and scored his first major break when he was cast in the original 1960 stage production of the musical Oliver! He co-wrote the 1972 film The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, in which he played three roles.
Humphries created his signature character, Dame Edna Everage, in the 1950s, and gained worldwide fame through her television programs in the 1980s and 1990s.
Throughout his career, Humphries received numerous awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Comedy Awards, and a Tony Award for his Dame Edna: The Royal Tour show.
He was also recognized for his contributions to theatre and comedy, being made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1982 and a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2007.
From 2000 to 2019, the Melbourne Comedy Festival named its prize for most outstanding comedy act the Barry Award in honor of Humphries.
In his later years, Humphries faced criticism for comments he made about gender affirmation surgery and transgender identity.
His comments were widely criticized and led to the Melbourne Comedy Festival renaming the award that was previously named in his honor.
Despite the controversy, Humphries’ legacy in the entertainment industry will endure. He is survived by his fourth wife, Lizzie Spender, and four children who followed him into the arts: Tessa, Emily, Oscar, and Rupert.