Barry Humphries is a hilarious Australian comedian, actor and author, best known for his on-stage alter ego Dame Edna Everage. He is also a talented film producer, scriptwriter and star of London’s West End musical theatre.
Even as a child, Barry spent his days dressing-up in the back garden as different characters and found the buzz for comedy very early on and used it as a way of building relationships. Being bought up by parents with distrust in art, a rebellion against their attempts to make him take an academic path, created his very first character: Dr Aaron Azimuth who is a Dadaist and an agent provocateur.
It was when he joined the Melbourne Theatre Company that his most memorable character was formed, Edna Everage. He visited multiple venues around Australia, never expecting the disguise to take off until he ended up performing eight shows a week for 14 months, it was also around this time where he created another one of his renowned comical characters, Sandy Stone, after coming across an elderly man with a high, scratchy voice and a pedantic manner of speech on a walk near Bondi.
Barry moved to London in 1959, where he starred in many West End shows such as Maggie May and Oliver! He also appeared BBC’s The Late Show and a few films. He found his love for revues when he first appeared on Australian shows A Nice Night’s Entertainment and Excuse I: Another Nice Night’s Entertainment. This lead to his return to his country of origin to tour his one-man revue Just a Show which later came to London’s Fortune Theatre and lead to his BBC television series The Barry Humphries Scandals.
Over the years Barry has appeared in many films, most notably he appeared in Finding Nemo, The Hobbit and Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, it was his performance in the Bruce Beresford’s film that made Edna Everage a Dame by then Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam. He has also toured internationally countless times with his one-man shows such as Dame Edna Live and Look At Me When I’m Talking To You. It wasn’t until 2012 when he announced he would be retiring from live entertainment.
In 1982, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia and was honoured in the UK as a CBE in 2007 for his services to entertainment. He’s been awarded 18 awards in total including TV Personality of the Year and a British Comedy Award. Even more impressively, he has also had the previously named Stella Award named after him as the Barry Award, one of the most prestigious awards given at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Described as ’the most significant comedian to emerge since Charlie Chaplin,’ Barry takes side-splitting humour to the next level in every speech. With his amount of experience in the entertainment industry, he has countless of interesting stories to tell jam-packed with laughter and enthusiasm.
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