The entertainment world is mourning the loss of legendary Australian comedian Barry Humphries, who passed away peacefully in Sydney at the age of 89. Humphries leaves a complicated legacy following transphobic comments in the later part of his career, after pioneering and normalising drag with his Dame Edna character. 

Known for his iconic character Dame Edna, Humphries was a beloved figure in the industry. His death has prompted an outpouring of heartfelt tributes from celebrities and fans around the globe.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese led the tributes, lauding Humphries as “an absolute one-of-a-kind.”


Taking to Twitter, Albanese said, “For 89 years, Barry Humphries entertained us through a galaxy of personas, from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone. But the brightest star in that galaxy was always Barry.”

Fellow comedians also paid their respects, with Little Britain star Matt Lucas hailing Humphries as the “greatest.” 

“I wonder if all geniuses are as lovely as Barry Humphries. Thank you for delighting and inspiring us. Quite simply, you were the greatest.”

Ricky Gervais kept his tribute short and sweet, posting, “Farewell, Barry Humphries, you Comedy genius.”

Australian author Kathy Lette also expressed her sorrow at the news, sharing her heartbreak on Twitter: “Farewell to my favourite person. Heartbroken. RIP, dearest darling.”

The family of Barry Humphries has requested privacy during this difficult time. He is survived by his wife, Lizzie, their children Tessa, Emily, Oscar, and Rupert, and ten beloved grandchildren.

Humphries’ extensive career spanned over seventy years. The comedian had been planning a tour of Australia later this year with his comic characters Everage and Sir Les Patterson.

Humphries legacy is not without controversy. In 2019, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival removed Humphries’ name from the ‘Barry Award’ due to comments he had made publicly that were deemed ‘insensitive’, ‘dangerous’, and ‘transphobic’.

In a bizarre social media post for his Dame Edna character’s official account, ‘she’ apologised on behalf on Humphries, claiming he was ‘losing the plot.’