Barry Humphries, the creator of the lovable, world-renowned star Dame Edna Everage, has written his life story, "My Life As Me: A Memoir."
Humphries, who is currently touring the country in A Night with Dame Edna: The Family Tour, will also appear in the upcoming film of "Nicholas Nickleby." The Australian actor plays a Victorian woman in the new movie; others in the cast include such Broadway heavyweights as Alan Cumming, Christopher Plummer and Nathan Lane.
In his new memoir, the Liz Smith says that Humphries "tells a tale about his drinking days and how he left London in 1970, leaving a large outstanding bill at a place called the Wine Lodge. This was on his conscience, and when fame came at last he vowed to pay up. But the bar owner came to see him at the theatre and congratulated him afterward. When Humphries brought up the outstanding bill, the owner laughed it off. 'The truth is . . . we used to charge you in round figures. When you had a few too many, we sometimes used our imaginations . . . It could just be, Barry, that we owe you.'" "My Life As Me: A Memoir" is available in the U.K. and Australia from Penguin/Viking Books.
Dubbed Australia's First Lady, Dame Edna is the invention of Humphries, a successful character actor in Europe and Australia as well as an esteemed landscape painter. Some of Humphries' theatrical credits include roles in Waiting for Godot, Oliver! and Maggie May, but his most successful outings have been as Dame Edna, a character he created in 1956. Humphries was given the Order of Australia in 1982 and was endowed with an Honorary Doctorate of Griffith University in Australia in 1994.
For more information about the inimitable Dame, go to www.dame edna.com. —By Andrew Gans