Comedian Barry Humphries has died aged 89
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Much-loved comedian Barry Humphries has died at the age of 89 following complications after surgery, according to a spokesperson for St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney where he was being treated.
The Australian entertainer is arguably best known for creating the on-stage character Dame Edna Everage.
Earlier this week, entertainment journalist Peter Ford spoke on Australia's Sunrise programme on how things were 'tough' for Humphries.
"I am told Barry's health has worsened in the last week," he said.
"There are very serious concerns about what happens next … it is a very tough time at the moment."
He added: "But he's got great care, he's got fantastic medical team behind him. His family and friends – closest family – are rallying behind him."
Now, in a statement, his family remembered him as 'completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit'.
They added that Humphries' fans were 'precious to him' and said that his characters, which have brought joy to many for decades, 'will live on'.
The tributes have been flooding in for Humphries, who also played alter-ego Sir Les Patterson.
Many have flocked to social media to remember the comedian and offer their condolences to his family.
One of those is the Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese who took to Twitter: "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. A great wit, satirist, writer and an absolute one-of-kind, he was both gifted and a gift. May he rest in peace."
Dame Edna was much-loved by many after being invented by Humphries in the 1950s.
Speaking in 2016 of the iconic persona, Humphries said: "I disguised myself often which I enjoy doing because you can express things through another character satirically. Edna says the opposite of what I think – mostly.
"I don’t share any of her views, but somehow you come round to them. She’s adapted very easily to growing older – she’s a chameleon, ahead of us all!"
However, the persona was not without its criticism, as Edna made a transphobic comment.
Humphries received huge criticism after comparing transgender surgery to 'self-mutilation' while also describing Caitlyn Jenner as a ‘publicity-seeking ratbag’.