News of Barry Humphries’s death was surprising, reports of his worsening health issues were in the public domain just a day before his death.
John Barry Humphries AO CBE is an Australian comedian, actor, author, and satirist. He is best known for his alter egos, Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson. Anne Pender, Humphries’ biographer, described him in 2010 as “the most significant theatrical figure of our time the most significant comedian to emerge since Charlie Chaplin.”
Humphries’ characters have brought him international fame. Dame Edna Everage, originally a caricature of Australian suburban life, evolved over four decades into a satire of stardom.
Other characters include Sir Les Patterson, Sandy Stone, Martin Agrippa, Neil Singleton, Lance Boyle, Morrie O’Connor, Owen Steele, and Barry McKenzie.
Humphries was born on 17 February 1934 in Kew, Melbourne, Victoria. His father was a construction manager, and his mother was Louisa Agnes Brown.
He grew up in a “clean, tasteful, and modern home” on Christowel Street, Camberwell.
His childhood was happy, but in his teens, he began to rebel against suburban life by becoming artistic. Humphries responded by becoming a voracious reader, collector of rare books, painter, theatre fan, and surrealist. He also invented his first sustained character, “Dr. Aaron Azimuth,” agent provocateur, dandy, and Dadaist.
Humphries’ parents nicknamed him “Sunny Sam,” and his early home life set the pattern for his eventual stage career.
His father spent little time with him, and Humphries spent hours playing at dressing up in the back garden.
He found that entertaining people gave him a great feeling of release, and making people laugh was a very good way of befriending them.
Barry had some interesting perspectives on the Transgender community during his lifetime
What was Barry Humphries’s Cause of death?
In February 2023, Barry Humphries was admitted to the hospital to undergo hip surgery.
Re-Admission Due to Complications
Unfortunately, Humphries was re-admitted to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney on April 19, 2023, due to complications from the surgery.
Humphries’ family was by his side during his stay in the hospital, and they released a statement to inform his fans of his condition. They thanked everyone for their support and well wishes and confirmed that Humphries was comfortable at the end.
Celebrities Pay Tribute
Many celebrities took to social media to pay tribute to Humphries after news of his passing broke. Piers Morgan, who had met Humphries, called him one of the funniest people he had ever met.
Comedian Matt Lucas thanked Humphries for inspiring and delighting us, saying he was “quite simply, the greatest.” Ricky Gervais also paid his respects to the late comedian, referring to him as a comedy genius.