Barry "Dame Edna" Humphries
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."