Creator of Dame Edna Barry Humphries passes away at age 89 in Sydney

Dame Edna Barry Humphries

Following his fall and hip replacement, he told The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper last month that his physical rehabilitation had been “agony.”

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“Like domestic issues in general, it was the most ludicrous thing. Humphries attributed his fall to grabbing for a book when his foot became entangled in a rug or other object.

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Humphries has continued to perform as a comedian, touring the United Kingdom last year with his one-man show “The Man Behind the Mask.”

In Humphries’ hometown of Melbourne, in the middle of the 1950s, a dowdy Mrs. Norm Everage initially appeared on stage as the basis for the role of Dame Edna. Humphries considered her to be a constraining reflection of the postwar suburbia immobility and cultural blandness.

One of Humphries’ many memorable characters is Edna. Sir Les Patterson, an Australian cultural attaché who is perpetually intoxicated, unkempt, and lecherous, is the next most well-known person.

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Humphries and many other prominent Australian intellectuals traveled to London because of this notion of Australia as a Western cultural wasteland, which Patterson’s writings echoed.

Tony Award-winning comedian Barry Humphries, internationally renowned for his garish stage persona Dame Edna Everage, a condescending and imperfectly-veiled snob whose evolving character has delighted audiences over seven decades, died on Saturday, April 22, 2023.
Creator of Dame Edna Barry Humphries Joel Ryan, Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

In the 1970s, Humphries—a law school dropout who gained tremendous success as an actor, writer, and entertainer in Britain—found his American dream to be obstinately elusive.

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A highlight for him in the US was receiving the Tony Award in 2000 for his Broadway production of “Dame Edna: The Royal Tour.”

The character of Dame Edna began as a dowdy Mrs. Norm Everage, who first took to the stage in Humphries’ hometown of Melbourne in the mid-1950s. She reflected a postwar suburban inertia and cultural blandness that Humphries found stifling.
Creator of Dame Edna Barry Humphries: Associated press

The renowned comedian received praise from Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

“For 89 years, Barry Humphries entertained us through a galaxy of personas, from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone,” Albanese tweeted in reference to the wistful and rambling Stone, one of Humphries’ most memorable roles. But Barry was always the star of that galaxy that shone the brightest. He was both gifted and a gift, a remarkable writer, humorist, and unquestionably unique individual.

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