Barry Humphries, Comedian Known as Dame Edna, Dies at 89

The Australian satirist won a Special Tony Award for his Broadway show “Dame Edna, The Royal Tour”

Australian comedian and entertainer Barry Humphries, best known for his character Dame Edna Everage, died April 22. He was 89.

Humphries passed in a Sydney hospital following complications with hip surgery, his family announced in a statement.

“He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit,” the family said. “With over 70 years on the stage, he was an entertainer to his core, touring up until the last year of his life and planning more shows that will sadly never be.”

Humphries reportedly fell in February and had a hip replacement. In March, the entertainer had hip surgery, but earlier this week, he returned to the hospital due to complications and later died, according to Sydney Morning Herald.

Humphries was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1934, and less than 20 years later, he created the character of Edna Everage in 1955, as a social satire. In the ’70s, the character became a huge hit when Humphries brought his talents to London.

From then on, in the ’80s and ’90s, Humphries appeared on talk shows, specials and in films, as Dame Edna and his other alter-egos Les Patterson and Sandy Stone, including the British comedy show, “The Dame Edna Experience,” in 1987.

Humphries’ success spilled into the United States as well. In 2000, he won a Special Tony Award for his Broadway show “Dame Edna, The Royal Tour,” and he appeared as Edna in “Ally McBeal” in 2001.

Humphries is survived by his wife of 30 years, Lizzie Spender, his children and 10 grandchildren.