Tony Award-winning comedian Barry Humphries, internationally recognized for his striking stage persona Dame Edna Everage, a condescending, imperfectly veiled snob whose evolving persona has delighted audiences for seven decades, has died. She was 89.

His death was confirmed Saturday by the Sydney hospital, where he spent several days with complications following hip surgery.

Humphries had lived in London for decades and returned to his native Australia in December for Christmas.

He told The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper last month that his physical therapy had been «agony» after his fall and hip replacement.

“It was the most ridiculous thing, as all domestic incidents are. I was reaching for a book, my foot got caught in a rug or something, and I fell,” Humphries said of falling from him.

Humphries has remained an active entertainer, touring Britain last year with his one-man show «The Man Behind the Mask».

Dame Edna’s character began as a dowdy Mrs. Norm Everage, who first took the stage in Humphries’s hometown of Melbourne in the mid-1950s. She reflected a post-war suburban inertia and cultural blandness that Humphries suffocated him.

The Australian artist received the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in October 2011.Steve Parsons/AP

Edna is one of several enduring Humphries characters. The next most famous is Sir Les Patterson, an always drunk, scruffy and lewd Australian cultural attache.

Patterson reflected a perception of Australia as a Western cultural wasteland that brought Humphries along with many leading Australian intellectuals to London.

A law school dropout, Humphries found great success as an actor, writer and entertainer in Britain in the 1970s, but America was an ambition he found stubbornly elusive.

A highlight in the United States was a Tony Award in 2000 for his Broadway show «Dame Edna: The Royal Tour.»

Married four times, he is survived by his wife Lizzie Spender and four children.

Por admin