Australian comedian Barry Humphries, best known for his comedic character Dame Edna Everage, has died aged 89, his family has confirmed.
The veteran entertainer had been unwell in a Sydney hospital, suffering complications following hip surgery last month.
Humphries’ most celebrated creation Dame Edna became a star in the 1970s in the UK, getting her own chat show on ITV a decade later – known for her quick wit, smiling-assassin putdowns to even the most lauded guest, and for throwing gladioli out among the audience.
Humphries had been inspired to create the character after watching his mother and other suburban housewives as a child in his native Australia. He was born in Melbourne, and moved to the UK in 1959, where he appeared on the West End stage.
Other characters created by Humphries included drunken diplomat Sir Les Patterson and the always grumbling Sandy Stone.
He also voiced the shark Bruce in 2003 Pixar animated film Finding Nemo, as well as making appearances in 1967 comedy Bedazzled, Spice World, The Hobbit and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
The Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese was one of the first to pay tribute today, calling Humphries “a great wit, satirist, writer and an absolute one-of-kind, he was both gifted and a gift.”