Barry Humphries will be given a state funeral at Sydney Opera House. The late comedian – who was best known for his alter ego Dame Edna Everage – died last month aged 89 following complications from surgery.
The New South Wales Premier Chris Minns has now announced Humphries’ “remarkable life and enduring legacy” will be remembered at the prestigious venue on 15 December.
A statement announced: “As an internationally recognised home of performance, arts and culture, the Sydney Opera House is a fitting venue for the service which will honour the remarkable life and enduring legacy of the beloved Australian personality.”
The venue was described as “a fitting location for what promises to be a memorable send-off given the venue’s significance in Australian arts, culture and entertainment. The statement concluded: “His passing marks the end of an era in Australian entertainment.”
Australia‘s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said the government is “pleased” to be working on a tribute to the “beloved entertainer”. He said in a statement: “The Australian Government is pleased to work with the New South Wales Government to deliver a State Memorial to honour the life and legacy of this beloved entertainer.”
Barry Humphries’ private funeral service took place a week after his death at the Bowral estate of longtime friend and artist Tim Storrier in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands. According to The Australian, guests were only given 24 hours notice about the funeral.
Film director Bruce Beresford said: “It was a small affair, just family and close friends. It was very touching, very warm. Everybody was either ¬related or a great friend of Barry’s.”
Barry Humphries’ wife Lizzie Spender was at the ceremony, along with his two sons, Oscar and Rupert, who flew in from London, his daughters Emily and Tessa, brother Christopher and sister Barbara. No speeches were made but excerpts some poems, including ‘The Heart of a Friend’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, were read out.
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