Dame Edna star Barry Humphries in Sydney hospital after complications following hip replacement | Ents & Arts News

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TV star and comedian Barry Humphries is being treated in hospital after being readmitted following treatment for a fall, according to media reports.

The 89-year-old Australian star, who is best known for portraying his purple-haired alter-ego Dame Edna Everage, is said to have suffered complications after tripping earlier in the year and having a hip replacement.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald from a rehabilitation centre in March, Humphries said he had been in “agony” following the incident.

Australian entertainer Barry Humphries poses for pictures after he received his Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, London, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2007. (AP Photo/Steve Parsons/pool)
Image:
Pic: AP/Steve Parsons

“It was the most ridiculous thing, like all domestic incidents are,” the entertainer told the newspaper.

“I was reaching for a book, my foot got caught on a rug or something, and down I went.”

He added that he was determined to get back on his feet.

“The result of my broken hip means I now have a titanium hip… you can call me ‘Bionic Bazza’,” he joked.

Reports from Australia say he is back in hospital in Sydney, although with differing accounts of his condition.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Humphries answered a call from the newspaper, before friends and family took the phone. “He’s fine,” his wife Lizzie Spender is quoted as saying.

In a statement sent to the newspaper, his family said: “Barry Humphries is currently in hospital receiving treatment for health issues. Barry would like to thank everybody for the support and good wishes he has received but would like more and more. He would also like to thank the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff at St Vincent’s Hospital.”

However, showbiz reporter Peter Ford told Australian breakfast show Sunrise that Humphries’ health had “worsened in the last week”.

“At this moment Barry is [in] a serious condition but being kept comfortable. He’s surrounded by family,” he tweeted.

Barry Humphries alter ego Dame Edna Everage arrives at the London Palladium to launch the Barry HumphriesÕ Farewell Tour.

Speaking on Sunrise, Ford said: “Barry won’t give up easily. Barry has something marked on his calendar, and that is to say he’ll be back on stage before the end of this year…

“Things are tough and all we can do at this point in time is to basically give a big shout out to Barry Humphries and say, ‘Australia loves you and we will always be grateful for everything you have given us’. And I reckon Barry has a fighting spirit and he’s not going to give up easily.”

Humphries is known for characters including Sir Les Patterson, Sandy Stone and Barry McKenzie, and for starring in films and appearing in the West End.

Last year, he toured his show, The Man Behind The Mask, an “intimate” performance in which Humphries himself was the “principal character”.

He is best known and loved as Dame Edna, the household favourite with the cat-eye glasses, the love of gladioli, and the famous catchphrase: “Hello, possums!”

Her shows have included The Dame Edna Experience and Dame Edna’s Neighbourhood Watch, and she has also appeared on Broadway.

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