Barry Humphries, legendary Australian comedian, dies aged 89

Barry Humphries, the legendary Australian comedian, has died in Sydney aged 89.

The Dame Edna star had been re-admitted to a Sydney hospital in Australia earlier this week after complications from a recent surgery.

He had had surgery on his hip last month at St Vincent's Hospital after a fall in February, but is understood to have since suffered complications.

Australian reports stated Humphries' health had been "worsening in the past week". At one point, Australian media claimed the comedian was "unresponsive" during treatment. Those rumours were subsequently quashed by the hospital at the time.

However, on Saturday evening, Australian media reported Humphries had died.

In a statement from Humphries' publicist, it was revealed the comedian had passed away "peacefully."

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Barry Humphries passed away peacefully in Sydney, Australia today. He was surrounded by his family," a statement from his publicist confirmed.

"He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit. 

"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.

"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. 

"We ask that everyone please respect the family's privacy during this very difficult time.

"He is survived by his wife Lizzie, his children Tessa, Emily, Oscar and Rupert, and 10 beloved grandchildren," the statement said.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese led the tributes to the star, saying he was an "absolute one-of-kind."

"For 89 years, Barry Humphries entertained us through a galaxy of personas, from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone. But the brightest star in that galaxy was always Barry," he wrote on Twitter.

"A great wit, satirist, writer and an absolute one-of-kind, he was both gifted and a gift. May he rest in peace."

Tributes poured in from around the world for the comedian, with Little Britain star Matt Lucas saying he was the "greatest."

"I wonder if all geniuses are as lovely as Barry Humphries. Thank you for delighting and inspiring us. Quite simply, you were the greatest," he said online.

Ricky Gervais kept his simple, saying: "Farewell, Barry Humphries, you Comedy genius."

Australian author Kathy Lette paid tribute, saying she was "heartbroken."

"Farewell to my favourite person. Heartbroken. RIP dearest darling," she wrote on Twitter.

The entertainer had been planning to tour Australia with his comic character Everage and Sir Les Patterson later this year.