barry humphries split image

Barry Humphries’ record-breaking run as his drag alter ego Dame Edna Everage will certainly take some beating.

The legendary Australian performer, who sadly died on 22 April at the age of 89, holds the record for longest running character portrayed by the same actor.

Barry first began entertaining audiences as cheeky Dame Edna in 1955 while on tour with Melbourne University’s Union Theatre Repertory Company.

The character made her first public appearance at the end of that year on 19 December, meaning Barry played her for an incredible 66 years and 62 days, up until her final appearance in 2022.

barry humphries as dame edna

Dame Edna made countless appearances on stage and screen, with Barry carving out an incredibly successful career with his loveable character known for her extravagant glasses, lilac hair and famous greeting “Hello, possums!”

Tragically, Barry died in hospital in Sydney at the weekend after suffering complications following hip surgery last month.

His family said in a statement: “He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit.

"With over 70 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.

barry humphries

"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.

barry humphries as dame edna in 1980

"The characters he created, which brought laughter to millions, will live on."

Paying tribute on Twitter, Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday shared a smiley picture of them together.

Craig had presented Barry with a certificate for his record-breaking career as Dame Edna.

He wrote: “RIP Barry Humphries - a comic genius and one of the loveliest record holders I’ve had the honour to hang out with. Portrayed Dame Edna for a record 66 years…”