Comedy icon Barry Humphries to be honoured with state funeral

May 04, 2023
Humphries' state funeral should see fans, colleagues and fellow celebrities turn out in droves for one final goodbye. Source: Getty Images.

Fans of the late entertainment icon Barry Humphries will be offered the chance to farewell the iconic entertainer after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced he would be honoured with a state funeral.

Fans across the globe were left in a state of mourning after Humphries died on Saturday, April 22 at the age of 89.

Following a fall at his home in Sydney in February, Humphries was readmitted to the hospital due to complications following hip surgery. Sadly, it was there that the comedic genius behind the beloved characters of Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson passed away.

However, during a recent interview with British media personality Piers Morgan, Albanese offered some details regarding how the late star will be honoured one last time.

“There will be a state funeral for Barry Humphries as well, co-hosted by the New South Wales and the Victorian Government and the Australian Government. My government will be a part of that as well,” he said.

“He’s someone who has given an enormous amount of pleasure to generations of Australians. And I know that a range of people who friends of mine, knew him very well.

“I didn’t. I met him on one occasion briefly, but I didn’t know him. But I know how warmly he was regarded by people in Australia and in the UK.”

Further details regarding the funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.

If the number of tributes that followed Humphries’ passing are anything to go by then his state funeral should see fans, colleagues and fellow celebrities turn out in droves for one final goodbye.

Following his passing an outpouring of tributes soon followed that reflected the profound impact Humphries had on people’s lives and the entertainment industry.

Born on February 17, 1934, Humphries was a celebrated figure in the entertainment industry, known for his comedic, satirical, and artistic abilities, as well as his remarkable character acting. His most beloved personas were Dame Edna Everage, a Melbourne housewife who rose to superstardom, and Sir Les Patterson, Australia’s vulgar cultural attaché to the Court of St. James’s.

Moreover, Humphries was a successful film producer, scriptwriter, and star of London’s West End musical theater scene. He was also a renowned landscape painter and an award-winning author. In fact, his biographer, Anne Pender, declared him the most significant comedian since Charlie Chaplin in 2010.

Humphries’ characters, especially Dame Edna Everage, received worldwide recognition, and he made appearances in several movies, stage productions, and TV shows. Edna started as a caricature of Australian suburban life but evolved into a scathing satire of stardom over four decades.

For his contributions to the entertainment industry, Humphries received numerous awards and honors, including a Special Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, a Theatre World Award, and an Outer Critics’ Circle Award in 2000. In 2002, the Australian National Portrait Gallery dedicated its first large-scale biographical exhibit to him, and the following year, he lent his voice to Bruce the shark in the animated film Finding Nemo.

Humphries also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Melbourne and wrote two autobiographies, More Please (1992) and My Life as Me (2002).

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