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Barry Humphries
Biographical Information

Sex:M
Age:77
Birth Date:February 17, 1934
Astrology Sign:Aquarius
Chinese Sign:Dog - Yin
Birth Name:
Birth Place:
Website:

Occupation:Comedian

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BARRY HUMPHRIES
Barry Humphries

Biography:Barry Humphries Barry Humphries was born in Kew, Melbourne. His father was a well-to-do construction manager and Barry grew up in a "clean, tasteful and modern home" in Camberwell, then one of Melbourne’s new ‘garden suburbs’. His early home life set the pattern for his eventual stage career -- Barry's parents bought him everything he wanted, but his father in particular spent little time with him, so he spent hours playing dress-ups in the back garden.

"Disguising myself as different characters and I had a whole box of dressing up clothes ... Red Indian, sailor suit, Chinese costume and I was very spoiled in that way ... I also found that entertaining people gave me a great feeling of release, making people laugh was a very good way of befriending them. People couldn't hit you could they if they were laughing." His parents nicknamed him 'Sunny Sam', and his early childhood was happy and uneventful, but in his teens Barry began to rebel against the strictures of conventional suburban life by becoming 'artistic' - much to the dismay of his parents who, despite their affluence, distrusted "art". A key event took place when he was nine -- his mother gave all his books to the Salvation Army, cheerfully explaining: "But you've read them, Barry."

Humphries responded by becoming a voracious reader, a collector of rare books, a painter, a theatre fan and a surrealist. Dressing up in a black cloak, black homburg and mascara'd eyes, he invented his first sustained character, "Dr Aaron Azimuth", dandy and Dadaist.

Educated at Camberwell Grammar School, he has been awarded his place in the Gallery of Achievement there. His father’s building business prospered, and Barry was sent to Melbourne Grammar School, where he spurned sport, detested mathematics, shirked cadets "on the basis of conscientious objection" and matriculated with brilliant results in English and Art.

He spent two years at Melbourne University, where he studied law, philosophy and fine arts. During this time he became Australia’s leading exponent of the deconstructive and absurd art movement, Dada. The Dadaist pranks and performances he mounted in Melbourne were experiments in anarchy and visual satire which have become part of Australian folklore. One famous exhibit entitled "Pus In Boots" consisted of a pair of Wellington boots filled with custard.

He was also legendary for his provocative public pranks. One infamous example involved Humphries dressing as a Frenchman, with an accomplice dressed as a blind person; the accomplice would board a tram, followed soon after by Humphries. At the appropriate juncture, Humphries would force his way past the "blind" man, yelling "Get out of my way, you disgusting blind person", kicking him viciously in the shins and then jumping off the tram and making his escape in a waiting car.

An even more extreme example was his notorious "sick bag" prank. This involved carrying a tin of condensed soup onto an aircraft, which he would then surreptitiously empty into an air-sickness bag. At the appropriate point in the flight, he would pretend to vomit loudly and violently into the bag. Then, to the horror of passengers and crew, he would proceed to eat the contents. One April Fool's Day, Humphries placed a roast dinner and glass of champagne in an inner-city bin. Later in the morning, when there were many businesspeople queuing at a nearby building, Humphries approached the group as a dirty, dishevelled man. He walked to the bin, opened the lid and proceeded to lift the roast and drink from it. Much to the amazement of watchers-by, he found a suitable seating area and began to eat it.

Such stunts were the early manifestations of a lifelong interest in the bizarre, discomforting and subversive.

He had written and performed songs and sketches in university revues, so after leaving university he joined the newly formed Melbourne Theatre Company. It was at this point that he created the first incarnation of what became his most famous character, Edna Everage. The first stage sketch featuring Mrs Norm Everage, called "Olympic Hostess", premiered at Melbourne University's Union Theatre on December 12, 1955. In his award-winning autobiography More Please (1992) Humphries relates that he created a character similar to Edna in the back of a bus while touring country Victoria in Twelfth Night with the MTC at the age of twenty. The dowdy Moonee Ponds housewife, originally created as a caricature of Australian suburban complacency and insularity, has evolved over four decades to become a satire of stardom, the gaudily dressed, acid-tongued, egomaniacal, internationally feted Housewife Gigastar, Dame Edna Everage.

Humphries' other satirical characters include the legendary comic strip hero, nephew of Dame Edna (and progenitor of Crocodile Dundee) Barry McKenzie; the "priapic and inebriated cultural attaché" Sir Les Patterson, who has "continued to bring worldwide discredit upon Australian arts and culture, while contributing as much to the Australian vernacular as he has borrowed from it"; gentle, grandfatherly "returned gentleman" Sandy Stone; iconoclastic '60s underground film-maker Martin Agrippa, Paddington socialist academic Neil Singleton, sleazy trade union official Lance Boyle, high-pressure art salesman Morrie O’Connor and failed tycoon Owen Steele.

Humphries then moved to Sydney and joined Sydney's famous Philip Street Revue Theatre, Australia's leading venue for revue and satirical comedy. After a long season in revue, he appeared as Estragon in Waiting for Godot, Australia's first ever production of a Samuel Beckett play.

Achievements: (Filmography)
Finding Nemo (2003)
The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972)
Oliver! (1969)

Chinese Horoscope for Barry Humphries
Includes characteristics and Vices
Barry Humphries's Chinese Horoscope
Chinese Year: February 14, 1934 - February 03, 1935
Birthday: February 17, 1934

The Dog is a Yin,
and is the Eleventh sign of the Chinese horoscope.

Characteristics:    
Constancy
Heroism
Respectability
Duty
Intelligence
Morality
Vices:
Uneasiness
Criticism
Self-Righeousness
Cynicism
Unsociability
Tactlessness


Personality and Character Cards:
Personality and character cards are identical!

Barry Humphries's Personality Tarot Card The Hermit - Personality Card

Birthday: February 17, 1934

A time for soul searching and meditation; a need for patience and solitude.


This year's Growth Tarot Card
Based on this year's birthday

Barry Humphries's Growth Tarot Card The Hierophant

Birthday: February 17, 2011

Guidance on religious matters and the need to find spiritual meaning in life.

 

 

 

Portions of famous people database was used with permission from Russell Grant from his book The Book of Birthdays Copyright © 1999, All rights reserved. Certain biographical material and photos licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, from Wikipedia, which is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

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