Barry Humphries

Barry Humphries

John Barry Humphries, AO, CBE (born 17 February 1934, Kew, Melbourne, Victoria) is an Australian comedian, satirist and character actor perhaps best known for his on-stage and television alter egos Dame Edna Everage, a Melbourne housewife, and Sir Les Patterson, Australia's foul-mouthed cultural attaché to Britain. He is also a film producer and script writer, a star of London's West End musical theatre, an award-winning writer and an accomplished landscape painter.

 

His characters, especially Edna Everage, have brought him international renown, and he has appeared in numerous films, stage productions and television shows. His Barry McKenzie comic strips about Australians in London appeared in Private Eye magazine with drawings by Nicholas Garland. The stories about "Bazza" (also Humphries' nickname) gave wide circulation to Australian slang, particularly jokes about drinking and its consequences, much of it invented by Humphries.

He has been married four times; his fourth wife Lizzie Spender is the daughter of British poet Sir Stephen Spender. He has two daughters and two sons from his second and third marriages, to Rosalind Tong and Diane Millstead respectively. His eldest son Oscar Humphries is a contributing editor at the The Spectator and the launch editor of Spectator Australia.