Barry Humphries aka Dame Edna Everage dead at 89


barry humphries dame edna everage

Australian comedian Barry Humphries famed for characters like Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson died tonight at the age of 89.

Readmitted to hospital a few days ago after his health worsened, Humphries died surrounded by family.

Barry Humphries normally lives in London with his wife Lizzie Spender. However, he returned to Australia in December. The veteran entertainer injured himself in a fall at home in February.

“It was the most ridiculous thing, like all domestic incidents are.

“I was reaching for a book, my foot got caught on a rug or something, and down I went.”

Dame Edna Everage

Humphries joined the Melbourne Theatre Company in his teens, debuting a character who became a comedy legend. Purple-haired Melbourne housewife, Edna Everage went onto television fame as Dame Edna Everage.

Humphries then relocated to London in the 1960s. He also worked in films including The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, Shock Treatment, Spice World and Finding Nemo.

As Dame Edna Everage he hosted popular television chat shows where he took the piss from his celebrity guests.

However, despite his youthful radicalism, Humphries turned more conservative in his declining years, perhaps some suggested, too enamoured of the people in authority he once mocked.

In 2018, he attracted intense criticism for transphobic comments including referring to gender affirmation surgery as ‘self-mutilation’.

Comedian Hannah Gadsby spoke at the time of Humphries losing the ability to read the room.

“Barry Humphries loves those who hold power, hates vulnerable minorities and has completely lost the ability to read the room.

“That’s not a comedian, that’s an irrelevant, inhumane dick biscuit of the highest order.”

Comedian Thomas Jaspers tweeted, “You are my idol. You broke ground, you broke rules, you pissed off the establishment — you defined Australian culture — you have a lifetime of achievements.

“And now this will be your legacy. You’ve become the people you used to make fun of. Shut up and retire.”

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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