Dame Edna Everage star Barry Humphries in ‘serious condition’ in hospital in Sydney

The late Barry Humphries dressed as his drag alter-ego Dame Edna Everage, with purple hair, horn-rimmed glasses and a pink dress

Barry Humphries, best known as the creator of drag persona Dame Edna Everage, is currently in a “serious” condition in hospital in Sydney.

The Australian comedian, 89, has been admitted to hospital in and is being treated for “health issues”, according to a statement from the star’s family.

Humphries underwent hip surgery earlier this year after a tripping on a rug and falling, and in March was undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation centre.

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,” a family statement read.

Barry Humphries as Dame Edna (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

“He would also like to thank the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff at St Vincent’s Hospital.”

Australian entertainment editor Peter Ford said that Humphries’ health “has worsened in the last week”.

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“This is really serious,” Ford told Channel 7’s Sunrise, adding that there are “very serious concerns about what happens next”.

Ford added that the comedian is being “kept comfortable” and is “surrounded by family”.

“Barry is a fighter. Barry about six weeks ago said I’m going to get well again, and I’m going to go back on stage… Barry won’t give up easily,” Ford said.

Humphries had previously told the Sydney Morning Herald that he was in “agony” following his fall.

Barry Humphries’ career in the entertainment world has spanned seven decades, with his signature character Dame Edna Everage being conceived in 1956.

Alongside his Dame Edna character, Humphries’ has worked across television, film, theatre, and music, both behind and in front of the camera.

Across his time in the industry, he has been received dozens of awards, and been nominated for four BAFTA TV Awards.

In recent years, Humphries’ has been criticised for his comments about the trans community, which he claimed in 2019 had been “taken the wrong way”.

Barry Humphries as Dame Edna Everage.
Barry Humphries as Dame Edna Everage. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty)

In 2016, Humphries defended the philosopher and writer Germaine Greer, who described transgender women as “men who believe that they are women and have themselves castrated.”

Humphries said he agreed with Greer, and mentioned Caitlyn Jenner as part of the discussion.

“I agree with Germaine! You’re a mutilated man, that’s all. Self-mutilation, what’s all this carry on?” he told The Telegraph.

Three years later, Humphries claimed his position had been “grotesquely interpreted” – but didn’t not offer further clarification.

“Edna carefully said she thought that men who had themselves castrated did not become women, and that got taken the wrong way,” he told The Sunday Times Magazine.