Australian entertainer Barry Humphries, responsible for the character Dame Edna Everage, has died in hospital.
St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney where he was being treated confirmed the news on Saturday.
Spokesperson David Faktor said: “I can confirm Barry Humphries passed away this evening Sydney time, around 7pm on Saturday evening (11am BST).”
During a carrer spanning 70 years, the stage and screen star created satirical characters including Dame Edna and Sir Les Patterson.
Broadcaster Andrew Neil has said he visited Humphries in hospital two weeks ago when his “spirits and wit were as acute as ever”.
“So sad to learn Barry Humphries has passed away,” he tweeted.
“When I visited him in his Sydney hospital two weeks ago he was ailing from several health problems.
“But his spirits and wit were as acute as ever. We laughed away as the stories poured out. Funny, hugely literate, fiercely smart.
“I count myself lucky and privileged I got to see him one more time. A comic genius the likes of which we will never see again.”
Comedian Matt Lucas has described Humphries as “quite simply the greatest” as he paid tribute to the Australian entertainer after his death.
“I wonder if all geniuses are as lovely as Barry Humphries,” Lucas tweeted, sharing a picture of them together.
“Thank you for delighting and inspiring us. Quite simply, you were the greatest.”
Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson has said Humphries was “one of the greatest ever Australians”.
“RIP Barry Humphries – one of the greatest ever Australians – and a comic genius who used his exuberant alter egos, Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson, to say the otherwise unsayable,” he tweeted.
“Also an infallibly brilliant Spectator contributor. What a loss.”
On Thursday, the hospital said Humphries was “stable” and “in the best hands”.
The 89-year-old, best known for his character Dame Edna Everage, was being treated after suffering “health issues” following hip surgery.
According to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, he was readmitted after suffering complications.
On Thursday, it was further reported by multiple local outlets that Humphries had gone into an “unresponsive state” and had been given morphine by doctors. The hospital denied these claims.