Moving Bert Newton tribute stops the show at Sydney Opera House

Dec 09, 2021
Australia's brightest stars paid tribute to the man who grew up with 'variety in his veins' at last night's AACTA ceremony in Sydney. Source: Getty

Australia’s biggest and brightest stars paused to pay their respects to the late entertainment legend Bert Newton last night (Wednesday, December 8) with a moving musical performance and speech by Rove McManus at the 2021 AACTA awards.

As a bevy of star-studded presenters took to the stage to celebrate the cream of Australian film and television over the past year, McManus, 47, gave an emotional tribute to his mentor and mate, Bert Newton, who died on October 30, 2021, aged 83.

“Bert was a mentor and a friend to me, but I know to all of us in the industry, he was a huge titan of the game. He was the last of the true old-school all-rounders,” McManus said from his base in Perth.

“He grew up with variety in his veins and ended up becoming one of the greatest entertainers Australia has ever seen. Bert had personality and positivity to spare, and his lightning-quick comedy reflexes knew no equal.

“No matter how brightly his star shone, he always made sure that he had time for those whose light was only just starting to emerge in the industry as well.”

“And I, for one, will forever be grateful for that,” finished McManus, whose video tribute has been shared by the Daily Mail Australia.

Patti Newton at bert newton's state funeral with hearse
Australia joins Patti Newton in mourning the passing of a national treasure at a state funeral on November 12. Source: Getty

The famous comedian’s speech was capped by a poetic acoustic rendition of Under The Milky Way by Steve Kilbey, as the starry crowd – which included Rebel Wilson, Rachel Griffiths and Baz Luhrmann – stopped to pay their respects to Newton and other entertainers who have passed in the past year, such as Storm Boy icon David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu.

The moving tribute comes less than a fortnight after Newton’s broken-hearted widow Patti shared an emotional message on Instagram.

Grieving Patti, 76, shared the throwback photo of the couple on their wedding day back in 1974, alongside the caption, “My darling Alb I will miss you forever. My heart is broken”.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Patti Newton (@pattinewtonofficial)

Australia’s brightest television star died after a long battle with declining health while he was undergoing palliative care at a private clinic in Melbourne. He was given a Victorian state funeral on November 12 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne.

Do you miss Bert Newton?

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