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Inside the life of Barry Humphries: From Comedy to Millions 

 March 22, 2023

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Introduction

Barry Humphries is a prominent Australian actor, comedian, and author who has dominated the entertainment scene for more than five decades. He was born in Melbourne on February 17, 1934, and started his career as a comedian in the early 1950s. He is a versatile performer who has entertained people through various mediums, including theater, film, television, and literature.

This blog post will take you inside the life of Barry Humphries, exploring his journey from comedy to millions. You will learn about his early life, career, achievements, and personal life. So, sit back and enjoy this entertaining and informative read.

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Section 1: Early Life and Education

Barry Humphries was born to a family of parents who were both survivors of World War I. He was the youngest of four children and grew up in Melbourne’s suburban outskirts. Humphries attended Camberwell Grammar School, where he was an outstanding student with an interest in literature and drama. In 1951, he enrolled at the University of Melbourne to study law, but his love for the performing arts soon took over.

Section 2: Comedy Career Begins

Humphries started his comedy career in 1955, while he was still studying at the University of Melbourne. He created the character Baron von M√ľnchausen, a pompous German with tall tales of his adventures. This character became popular and led to a variety of other characters, including the famous Dame Edna Everage. Dame Edna, the purple-wigged, horn-rimmed-glasses wearing housewife, became Humphries’ most famous character and an international icon.

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Section 3: Rise to Fame

Humphries’ rise to fame came in the 1960s when he started appearing on British television. He landed several guest spots on popular British variety shows like the Frost Report. In 1972, Humphries’ one-man show, A Night with Dame Edna, became a hit in London’s West End. The show also toured internationally and became the highest-grossing show in Australian history.

Section 4: Television and Film Career

Humphries’ television and film career includes appearances on The Benny Hill Show, The Goodies, and the 1979 movie “Monty Python’s Life of Brian.” In 1981, he appeared in the movie “Shock Treatment” and continued to appear in various films throughout the years. Humphries is also well known for his television work, including his work on “The Dame Edna Experience,” which aired on British television from 1987 to 1989.

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Section 5: Writing and Publications

Barry Humphries is not only a performer but also a prolific writer. He has written numerous books, including his memoir, “My Life as Me,” and several books featuring his characters, such as “Dame Edna’s Coffee Table Book” and “The Illuminations.” He has also written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The Age, and The Telegraph.

Section 6: Achievements and Awards

Humphries’ achievements and awards are numerous. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1982 and was promoted to Companion of the Order of Australia in 2012. In 2009, he was inducted into the Australian Comedy Hall of Fame. Humphries has also been honored with numerous awards for his artistic achievements.

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Section 7: Personal Life

Barry Humphries has been married four times and has four children. He has been open about his struggles with alcoholism and has been sober since 1984. Despite his fame, Humphries has kept a relatively low profile when it comes to his personal life.

FAQs

1. What is Barry Humphries’ birthdate?
Barry Humphries was born on February 17, 1934.

2. How did Humphries start his comedy career?
Humphries started his comedy career by creating the character Baron von M√ľnchausen, a pompous German with tall tales of his adventures.

3. Which character became Humphries’ most famous?
Dame Edna Everage, the purple-wigged, horn-rimmed-glasses wearing housewife, became Humphries’ most famous character.

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4. What is Humphries’ most popular show in history?
“A Night with Dame Edna” became the highest-grossing show in Australian history.

5. How many times has Humphries been married?
Humphries has been married four times.

6. What struggles has Humphries been open about?
Humphries has been open about his struggles with alcoholism.

7. When was Humphries inducted into the Australian Comedy Hall of Fame?
Humphries was inducted into the Australian Comedy Hall of Fame in 2009.

Conclusion

Barry Humphries’ life and career are a testament to his passion for the performing arts. He started as a young student with a love for literature and drama and went on to become one of the most famous comedians of all time. His work has entertained millions of people around the world, and his characters will forever remain a part of popular culture. We hope you enjoyed learning about Barry Humphries and his journey from comedy to millions. Keep smiling just like Barry Humphries!

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