Comedy legend and satirist Barry Humphries, who tragically died last month aged 89, will be farewelled at a state funeral in Sydney.
Despite the Andrews government offering to host a service for the actor in Melbourne, Humphries’ family have since “declined” the proposal in an unexpected twist for Victorians.
Humphries, who was renowned for his multiple personalities including his most famous character Dame Edna Everage, lost his life following complications from a hip surgery.
The Australian icon was born in Melbourne and put inner-city suburb Moonee Ponds on the map, but despite this Sydney will be the backdrop as the nation says goodbye, the Herald Sun has revealed.
Barry Humphries. Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for LW Theatres
Last month, NSW Premier Chris Minn’s offered to honour the Australian larrikin however didn’t want to “front run” any potential Sydney-based ceremony.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese later told English journalist Piers Morgan a state-funeral for the “quintessential Australian character” would be co-hosted by both Sydney and Melbourne.
He added the Commonwealth would also play a role in the event after Morgan questioned Mr Albanese about Humphries’ passing in an interview ahead of the King’s coronation.
“My government will be a part of that as well,” Mr Albanese said.
The announcement came as a surprise to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews who said he had not been informed that a tri-government service was on the cards.
“I can’t confirm for you where the service will be, or where the funeral will be,” he said last week.
Exact details of where and when Humphries‘ state funeral will occur in Sydney are yet to be revealed.
His funeral will be held in Sydney. Picture: Kypros/Getty Images
While complications from hip surgery are said to have contributed to the comedian’s death, it’s believed Humphries was also battling an inoperable cancer out of the public eye.
The Daily Telegraph revealed last month Humphries was diagnosed with a rare form of pre-invasive skin cancer, also known as Extramammary Paget disease, on one of his testicles.
Humphries passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside on April 22, leaving behind his wife Lizzie, daughters Emily and Tessa, sons Rupert and Oscar and his 10 grandchildren.
“He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit,” his family said in a statement.
“With over seventy years on the stage, he was an entertainer to his core, touring up until the last year of his life and planning more shows that will sadly never be. His audiences were precious to him, and he never took them for granted.
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“Although he may be best remembered for his work in theatre, he was a painter, author, poet, and a collector and lover of Art in all its forms. He was also a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and a friend and confidant to many.
“His passing leaves a void in so many lives. The characters he created, which brought laughter to millions, will live on.”
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