Barry "Dame Edna" Humphries

Actor, Comedian, Painter
At one time hailed as the strongest proponent of Dada in Australia, the multi-talented Barry Humphries has excelled as a character actor in Europe and Australia and has become one of the best loved landscape painters ... Read more »
Born: 02/17/1934 in Australia


Actor (40)

Justin and the Knights of Valour 2013 (Movie)

Braulio (Voice)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 2013 (Movie)

Goblin King (Actor)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2012 (Movie)

Great Goblin (Actor)

Mary and Max 2009 (Movie)

Narrator (Actor)

I'd Do Anything 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)


Swarovski Style Rocks 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)


Da Kath & Kim Code 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)


Dame Edna: Live at the Palace 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)


Finding Nemo 2003 (Movie)

Voice of Bruce the Shark (Actor)

Ally McBeal 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)


Nicholas Nickleby 2002 (Movie)

Mrs Crummles (Actor)

Dame Edna 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)


The 55th Annual Tony Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)


Spice World 1998 (Movie)

Kevin McMaxford (Actor)

The Leading Man 1998 (Movie)

Humphrey Beal (Actor)

Welcome to Woop Woop 1998 (Movie)

Blind Wally (Actor)

Napoleon 1997 (Movie)

of Kangaroo (Voice)

Immortal Beloved 1994 (Movie)

Clemens Metternich (Actor)

Dame Edna's Hollywood 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


Edna Time 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


The 19th Annual People's Choice Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


Dame Edna's Hollywood 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)


Dame Edna's Hollywood 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)


Les Patterson Saves the World 1990 (Movie)

Dame Edna Everage (Actor)

The 2nd Annual American Comedy Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)


The Marsupials: The Howling III 1987 (Movie)

Dame Edna Everage (Actor)

The Story of English 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)


Shock Treatment 1981 (Movie)

Bert Schnick (Actor)

The Getting of Wisdom 1977 (Movie)

Reverend Strachey (Actor)

Pleasure at Her Majesty's 1975 (Movie)


Barry McKenzie Holds His Own 1974 (Movie)

Dr Meyer de Lamphrey (Actor)

Side By Side 1974 (Movie)

Rodney (Actor)

The Great MacArthy 1974 (Movie)

Colonel Ball-Miller (Actor)

The Adventures of Barry McKenzie 1971 (Movie)

Hoot (Actor)

The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom 1968 (Movie)

Mr Wainwright (Actor)

Bedazzled 1967 (Movie)

Envy (Actor)

Doctor Fischer of Geneva (TV Show)

Writer (3)

Les Patterson Saves the World 1990 (Movie)


Barry McKenzie Holds His Own 1974 (Movie)


The Adventures of Barry McKenzie 1971 (Movie)

Music (1)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2012 (Movie)

Song Performer("Torture Song") (Song)
Other (1)

The Secret Policeman's Other Ball 1980 (Movie)

(Production Assistant)


At one time hailed as the strongest proponent of Dada in Australia, the multi-talented Barry Humphries has excelled as a character actor in Europe and Australia and has become one of the best loved landscape painters Down Under, but his fame rests on the Melbourne housewife he first created in connection with the Olympic Games back in 1956. Since then, Dame Edith Everage has commandeered the actor's life, blooming into an international phenomenon, a wonderful parody of celebrity and self-obsession. He delivered his first Dadaist experiments in anarchy and visual satire against the conservative background of his hometown Melbourne and moved on to the more cosmopolitan Sydney, where he played Estragon in "Waiting for Godot" (1958), the first Australian production of a Samuel Beckett play. A frequent player in London's West End during the 60s, he starred as Fagin in the 1967 revival of Lionel Bart's musical "Oliver!", featuring a young Phil Collins as the Artful Dodger. Nevertheless, he did not introduce Dame Edna to British audiences until the 1969 one-person stage production "Just a Show", which led to the short-lived BBC series "The Barry Humphries Scandals".


Tessa Humphries Actor


Eric Humphries


Gladys Humphries

Humphries has described his relationship with his mother as "uncomfortable" others have characterized her as "aloof"

Emily Humphries

lives in Australia

Oscar Humphries


Diane Millstead Actor

third wife divorced

Lizzie Spender Actor

fourth wife

Stephen Spender


Rosalind Tong

second wife divorced

Brenda Wright

first wife divorced


University of Melbourne

studied law, philosophy and fine arts; dropped out in 1956



Contributed humor column to Vanity Fair


Had recurring role of Claire Otoms on the Fox comedy "Ally McBeal"


Tackled the Great White Way in "Dame Edna: The Royal Tour"


Appeared for Australian audiences sans Edna regalia in "Remember You're Out", playing different characters


Appeared in "Spice World"


Brought Dame Edna to the US stage for the first time since 1977, receiving rave notices from the San Francisco press like "a marvel of comic endurance" and "savagely entertaining"; city proclaimed November 26 as "Dame Edna Day"


Performed "Edna, the Spectacle" at London's Theatre Royal Haymarket


Contributed the voice of Kangaroo to animated "Napoleon"


Made cameo appearance in Stefan Elliott's "Welcome to Woop Woop"


Reteamed with Mora for "Pterodactyl Women from Beverly Hills"


Portrayed theater director Humphrey Beal in John Duigan's "The Leading Man"


Played Clemens Metternich in Bernard Rose's "Immortal Beloved", starring Gary Oldman as Beethoven


Wrote and appeared in NBC comedy special, "Dame Edna's Hollywood" (followed by 1992 and 1993 NBC specials of the same name); also wrote lyrics for "Dame Edna's Nicenesss Theme"


Portrayed Rupert Murdoch in "Selling Hitler", a five-part British black comedy detailing the great Hitler diaries hoax of 1983


Co-scripted George Miller's "Les Patterson Saves the World", playing both Les Patterson and Dame Edna Everage


Appeared as Dame Edna in Phillipe Mora's "The Marsupials: The Howling III"


Part of the excellent cast of "Doctor Fischer of Geneva" (BBC-2), including James Mason, Alan Bates and Cyril Cusack, among others; aired on PBS the following year


Awarded the Order of Australia


Won the Society of West End Theatres Award for his "A Night With Dame Edna"


Brought Dame Edna to New York for the unmitigated disaster of "Housewife/Superstar"


Last film (to date) with Beresford, "The Getting of Wisdom", playing Reverend Strachey


Acted in third film with Beresford, "Side By Side"


Reprised Dame Edna in Beresford's "Barry McKenzie Holds His Own", again co-scripting with the director; also appeared as three additional characters


Teamed with director Bruce Beresford to write screenplay for "The Adventures of Barry McKenzie", introducing the beer-swilling, Australian lout to screen audiences; played three charactes including the very proper Aunt Edna to Barry Crocker's McKenzie


Introduced Mrs. Everage to the British stage in his one-person "Just a Show", which led to a short-lived BBC series, "The Barry Humphries Scandals"


Acted in Stanley Donen's "Bedazzled", starring the team of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore


Starred as Fagin in the Piccadilly Theatre's revival of Lional Bart's musical "Oliver!" with Phil Collins as the Artful Dodger


Sailed for Venice, Italy


Created the character of Sandy Stone, a kind of eustralian Beckett figure, as a scathing satire of suburban boredom


Created the character of Mrs. Everage, a Melbourne housewife who would evolve into the celebrated Dame Edna, for a sketch in connection with Melbourne's Olympic Games

Appeared in numerous West End (London) theatrical productions during the 1960s

Joined Sydney's Philip Street Theatre, where he appeared as Estragon in "Waiting for Godot", the first Australian production of a Samuel Beckett play

Created the comic strip character of Barry McKenzie in British satirical magazine Private Eye

Had his first Dada exhibition while a university student

Bonus Trivia


Awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Australia'a Griffith University in 1994


"It would be wicked to say that Australia, my homeland, takes me for granted, but my face is not even on the stamps or the money, though I'm told this is 'in the pipeline'. There is even talk of a Dame Edna Museum in Melbourne to attract precious tourist dollars. But this was temporarily shelved to make way for a casino."If you analyse her [Dame Edna], there are hardly any redeeming features at all. Her parts are pretty unappetising. But the sum of her parts is someone lovable and this is a paradox I've never bothered to analyse; it's a bit like the appeal of Australia itself. We love Australia but if we look at it in detail there are many aspects which we deplore . . . not that many. I always get excited when I return and I love what I do." --Barry Humphries to Bryce Hallett in "Nothing Like a Dame", SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, February 20, 1999


On why she continues to work, considering her success in England and Australia: "It's because I care. If you could see the mail I get, the letters that come pouring in, the gratitude. To me, it's the g-word. It is my favorite letter in the alphabet. It stands for my my favorite things--gladioli, greed (a very underated appetite), gynecology, Col. (Moammer) Gadhafi, who I know personally. He's a delightful person--out of his uniform. Just in a bathrobe, he's lots of fun." --Dame Edna Everage, quoted in The CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, October 17, 1999


"Put simply, Dame Edna is hypocrisy personified--the caring friend who couldn't care less, the self-centered celebrity who makes a career of humility and selflessness, the nice middle-class hausfrau with the instincts of a shark."Humphries' creation makes us laugh because she is a larger-than-life reflection of universal human foibles. Her smug superiority is only an exaggeration of our own uneasy sense of class-consciousness (one factor behind her instant popularity in England). She boasts the same self-satisfactions and self-delusions we do, only hers are writ in rhinestones." --From Charles Isherwood's VARIETY (October 18, 1999) review of "Dame Edna: The Royal Tour"