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File photo of comedian Barry Humphries and his wife Lizzie Spender. Image Credit: REUTERS

Australian comedian Barry Humphries died on Saturday in a Sydney hospital, prompting a tribute from the country's prime minister who described him as “both gifted and a gift”.

Humphries, best known for his parody of a suburban housewife, the character Dame Edna Everage, “passed away peacefully” surrounded by family, said a statement by his publicist to Australian media.

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

“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.”

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Australian entertainer Barry Humphries. Image Credit: AP

He leaves his wife Lizzie, four children and 10 grandchildren, it said.

“The characters he created, which brought laughter to millions, will live on,” the statement said.

The 89-year-old Humphries died in Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital after being treated for various ailments, Australian media said. The hospital declined to comment.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid homage to the actor, who created unforgettable characters, including Everage and the elderly suburban man Sandy Stone.

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Australian entertainer Barry Humphries. Image Credit: AFP

“Barry Humphries entertained us through a galaxy of personas, from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone,” the prime minister said on social media.

“But the brightest star in that galaxy was always Barry. A great wit, satirist, writer and an absolute one-of-kind, he was both gifted and a gift. May he rest in peace.”