Barry Humphries is an Australian comedian and performer best known for his alter-egos larger than life Dame Edna Everage and the uncouth Sir Les Patterson. He studied at the University of Melbourne and later joined the Melbourne Theatre Company where the first incarnation of Edna was created. He moved to Sydney and worked with the Philip Street Revue Theatre that went on to become one of the most popular venues for satirical comedy.
After relocating to London in 1959 Barry became immersed in the British comedy scene and performing in a number of West End productions including as Mr Sowerberry in the original London production of Oliver! (1960), in Lionel Bart’s Maggie May and as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1968).
Barry’s one-man shows have been performed around the world and he has won a number of awards for them including an Olivier for Best Comedy Performance for A Night with Dame Edna (1979) and a Tony Award for his one person show Dame Edna: The Royal Tour in 2000. Other notable shows include: Housewife, Superstar! (1976) at the Appollo theatre, which gained him rave reviews; Look at Me When I’m Talking to You (1996); and Edna, The Spectacle (1998) at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Both Barry and Dame Edna have made extensive film appearances, including a cameo in Bedazzled (1967), The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), as well as more prominent roles in Dr. Fischer of Geneva (1985), Nicholas Nickleby (2002), the voice of Bruce the great white shark in Finding Nemo (2003) and most recently portrayed the Goblin King in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit (2012). On television he has enjoyed a recurring role in Ally McBeal (2001/2002), as well as hosting a number of comedy chat shows including The Dame Edna Experience, Dame Edna’s Hollywood (1991-92) and The Dame Edna Treatment (2007) which featured a number of A-list guest stars.