There is no denying that Bert Newton was a television icon here in Australia. Having grown up with his morning show, Good Morning Australia in the early 2000s, I was always in awe of Bert’s fun-loving and easy-going nature. As I grew older, I came to have an even greater understanding of who he was as a person when he supported his wife, Patti on Dancing with the Stars Australia in 2007. What I wasn’t aware of at the time was his love of being on stage. This was backed by Lucy Durack who starred opposite Bert in Wicked. He also played Cogworth in Beauty and the Beast in 1995 alongside Hugh Jackman as Gaston and Rachael Beck as Belle.
What’s more, is after the death of Rob Guest of a stroke in 2008, a couple of months into Wicked’s Melbourne Season, Bert took over the role of The Wizard. Moreover, this morning on Channel Seven’s Weekend Sunrise program with Monique Wright, she spoke to Philip Brady who revealed Newton was asked to play the villain in Mad Max: Fury Road but declined due to his health.
Outside of his stage and screen credits, Bert was a devoted husband to his wife, Patti, and father to their two children, Matthew and Lauren. Moreover, he became the father-in-law of Lauren’s husband, former swimmer Matt Welsh in 2006. Across the space of 13 years, Bert became the grandfather to their six children.
Across his career, Bert hosted the Logie Awards nineteen times and won the Gold Logie four times. He also hosted Bert’s Family Feud. Finally, in his final years on television, he also hosted 20 to 1.
Bert, Your Legacy Will Live On
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has offered a state funeral, according to ABC News.
Furthermore, Bert’s legacy will live on and his career will continue to inspire young Australians. Rest in Peace, Bert.