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Definition: Humphries from Collins English Dictionary


1 (John) Barry. born 1934, Australian comic actor and writer, best known for creating the character Dame Edna Everage

Summary Article: Humphries, (John) Barry
From Chambers Biographical Dictionary


♦ Australian comedian and writer

Born in Camberwell, Melbourne, he studied at Melbourne University. He made his theatrical debut at the Union Theatre, Melbourne (1953-54), and also appeared with the Phillip Street Revue (1956). In Great Britain from 1959, he made his London debut in The Demon Barber (1959) and subsequently appeared in Oliver! (1960, 1963, 1968). He created the Barry McKenzie comic strip in Private Eye (1964-73), and wrote the screenplay for The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972), in which he appeared as Dame Edna Everage. His many stage shows include A Nice Night's Entertainment (1962), A Load of Olde Stuffe (1971), An Evening's Intercourse with the Widely Liked Barry Humphries (1981-82) and Back with a Vengeance (1987-89). His characters, including the repellent cultural attaché Sir Les Patterson and the acid-tongued superstar housewife Dame Edna Everage, have appeared in television shows such as The Dame Edna Experience (1987-89), Dame Edna's Neighbourhood Watch (1992-93), Dame Edna in Hollywood (1993) and The Dame Edna Christmas Experience! (1995). His straight roles on television have included appearances in Doctor Fischer of Geneva (1984) and playing Rupert Murdoch in Selling Hitler (1991). He has been in the films Bedazzled! (1967), Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1975), The Getting of Wisdom (1977) and Les Patterson Saves the World (1987). His many humorous books include Treasury of Australian Kitsch (1980) and The Traveller's Tool (1985). He received a string of awards in 2000 for Dame Edna: The Royal Tour. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1982 and received a CBE in 2007.

  • My Life as Me (2002).
© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

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