Artist, actor, comedian, satirist, writer and star of musical theatre, Barry Humphries began his performing career in his native Australia. In 1955 he created Mrs. Norm Everage, a Melbourne housewife who evolved into the internationally celebrated Dame Edna.
In London he appeared in numerous West End productions, among them the original 1960 stage production of Oliver! in which he created the role of undertaker Mr. Sowerberry. He went on to reprise the role on Broadway in 1963. In 1967 he starred as Fagin in the Piccadilly Theatre's revival, and subsequently reprised the role in Cameron Mackintosh's award-winning staging at the London Palladium.
In the 1970s Barry brought to the cinema the character of Barry Mackenzie, originally invented in a cult comic strip written for Private Eye, and - as well as playing character roles across a wide range of films, plays and television shows - starred in his own one-man show in the West End. Housewife Superstar! was dominated by Dame Edna, Les Patterson and his favourite theatrical invention, suburban ghost Alexander (Sandy) Stone. He has been presenting his own shows in the West End ever since.
Numerous accolades and awards for stage and television work include a Rose D'Or for A Night on Mount Edna, a Sir Peter Ustinov Endowment for his life work as an entertainer at the Banff Television Festival, a special 2000 Tony Award for his Broadway show and a Tony nomination for his last Broadway offering, Back with a Vengeance. He has published two volumes of autobiography, My Gorgeous Life and My Life as Me.
In 2007 he was awarded a CBE for his contribution to the Arts.
Photo by Greg Gorman