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Farewell to a TV legend: Tributes flood in for Bert Newton after his tragic passing

''Heaven just got a whole lot more showbiz’y.''
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Bert Newton was an icon, and his legacy will go down in history as one of the greatest in television.

His presence in the entertainment industry touched hundreds of Australian celebrities, and his spirited personality was a constant source of support.

In the last weekend of October 2021, the 83-year-old TV legend sadly passed away following months of ill health.

He is survived by his wife Patti Newton, his children Matt and Lauren, and his six grandchildren.

Bert’s career spanned decades, and he only recently retired from hosting the TV WEEK Logie Awards as recently as 2018.

As expected, a slew of celebrity tributes and heartfelt reactions to Bert’s death have poured out since his death.

See the emotional messages dedicated to the icon here for the most touching words by all those who admired him.


Flame-haired showbiz sensation Rhonda Burchmore burst into tears when she heard of Bert’s passing and has been a “blubbery mess” ever since.”He was a loyal, wonderful and kind man who supported me and my career, no matter what. Through the great times and the trying times,” shares Rhonda, 61, with Woman’s Day.

“Bert gave me my TV break on The Don Lane Show in 1981. I went on to appear and perform regularly on GMA [Good Morning Australia]. He always gave me the best advice, and was a stunning mentor. Bert and Patti made me feel like family. I have so many fond memories, and owe him so much.”


John Foreman, Bert’s musical director on Good Morning Australia, recalls the TV legend being a “top guy”. John, 49, tells Woman’s Day: “He was always warm, intelligent, incredibly well-read and hilarious. Bert was a genius in that he could talk to anyone about anything, and it was always entertaining.”


Entertainer Maria Venuti was left reeling after learning of Bert’s death and tells how he made everyone feel special. “He recorded a video message for my 80th birthday in March.

“He said the most beautiful things. Since his passing, I’ve watched it over and over,” she tells Woman’s Day. “I loved him. He’s now entertaining the angels, but will forever be in our hearts.”


Veteran showbiz commentator John-Michael Howson first met Bert when he was a singer at a cabaret room in Melbourne more than 60 years ago. “I loved appearing on Bert’s TV and radio shows. He always listened and had a magic for getting the best out of his guests,” says John-Michael, 85, in an interview with Woman’s Day.

“I remember when I started losing some hair, and Bert let me try on one of his hairpieces to see how it’d look. We tried it on backwards, forwards, sideways… every which way and laughed ourselves sick. The funny thing is Bert originally got his hairpiece to hide his thinning thatch but then he used to take it off on the show and throw it around like a frisbee. Bert and Patti were a fabulous team and he was a showbiz giant. He could have been world-famous but was a very private man who adored his family.”


Melbourne TV and radio king Philip Brady knew Bert since 1955 when Bert was a young radio announcer on 3XY, who sported a thick crown of hair slicked back with “copious Brylcreem”.

“We clicked immediately. Bert was a tremendously generous performer – who didn’t care who got the laughs, so long as there were laughs,” recalls Philip, 82, to Woman’s Day.

“The great Bob Hope was bowled over by Bert’s humour, saying Bert was one of the funniest people he’d ever met… and how he’d like to have taken him back to Hollywood. He was like the brother I never had. A man with the biggest heart. I know that Patti is absolutely devastated by his passing, as we all are.”


Skippy star Ken James became a regular on Good Morning Australia by accident. “I’d known Bert for years, and we’d usually catch up at the Logies. I adored him. In 1994 I got a 6am call from a producer explaining a guest had missed their flight to Melbourne… could I race in and cook up something fabulous on the show,” Ken, 72, tells Woman’s Day.

“So I did, and that’s how I became one of the show’s celebrity chefs. I stayed with GMA for 10 years. Bert and I just clicked on camera. He was the best of the best. Bert had a knack for making everything entertaining. My heart sank when I heard he’d died.”


Moira McLean, who was by Bert’s side on GMA presenting the advertorials for 12 years, says the host was TV’s ultimate Mr Nice Guy. “He was the kindest, most considerate man. He loved people, he loved the show, he encouraged his team,” she tells Woman’s Day.

“When I joined GMA he organised a gift for my toddler son. Whenever he was starring in a stage show in Sydney, where I am based, there’d be opening night tickets, with choccies and a program. Bert was a one-take wonder and a marvel to watch in action. His every ad lib landed brilliantly – all off the cuff. I have treasured my every moment on his show.”


Penny McNamee

Penny McNamee shared this adorable picture with Bert, and she wrote in her caption, “They say never meet your heroes. Well Bert Newton was the absolute exception. Growing up, I dreamed of working with Bert on a main stage musical. And of course, he was even funnier, kinder and more generous than I could have imagined.

“He taught all of us in the biz how to be funny without being hurtful to anyone. He was the king of self-depreciation and improvisation. And he made every single person he met feel so special.

“Bert was magic and it will remain one of the privileges of my life to have known him and trodden the boards with him. Vale Bert Newton. Thank you for bringing so much joy to so many! Sending so much love to his beloved @pattinewtonofficial and his adored family. ❤️❤️❤️.”


Lisa Wilkinson

Lisa Wilkinson sent her condolences to Patti and commented on their incredible “love story.”

“What a legend. And what a love story… Sending deepest condolences to @pattinewtonofficial and the whole family. Bert was the original, and the best…and one of the kindest, and most generous, that Aussie TV ever produced. May he rest in sweet peace knowing the joy he brought to so many for so long.🙏🌺,” she wrote.


Rebecca Gibney

Rebecca Gibney shared this gorgeous Instagram post of Patti and Bert.

The Packed To The Rafters star wrote, “So incredibly sad to hear of the passing of the legendary Bert Newton. With love and deepest sympathy to @pattinewtonofficial and family.”


Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman shared a heartfelt message on behalf of himself and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness.

“Deb and I are so sad to have heard of the passing of an Australian icon Bert Newton. I was privileged to have worked with Bert on Beauty and Beast for a year. Just by watching him… I learned how to handle the spotlight with grace, dignity, humour, and class.

“But, what I will remember more than anything was his incredible humanity. His countless acts of quiet generosity when no one was looking. You were one of a kind Bert. You will be deeply missed. Much love to Patti and the entire family,” he penned.


Jessica Rowe

Jessica Rowe made sure to share her love for Patti Newton during this hard time.

“I’m thinking so much about @pattinewtonofficial & her beautiful family. Bert was at the heart of everything they did- and they shared him with all of us.

“He was generous of spirit, thoughtful, kind & hilarious. And I’ll always remember the kindness he and Patti have shown me over the years. He helped so many of us get on our way… #bertnewton #somuchlovepatti,” she wrote.


Larry Emdur

Larry Emdur revealed how much Bert inspired him to be good at his job.

The Morning Show host wrote, “Well heaven just got a whole lot more showbiz’y . Very sad to hear one of the true television greats has passed away. Bert Newton’s smile and charm were warm enough to light up every lounge room in Australia. I always wanted to be as awesome a host as Bert , it’s taken me 40years in the business to work out there will actually never ever be another Bert, ever .. sending you lots of love @pattinewtonofficial and the family 💔💔💔.”


Sonia Kruger

Sonia Kruger shared this Instagram story to reveal how amazing Bert was in his life and in the industry.

She wrote, “Vale Bert Newton. Sending love to all of Bert’s family and friends… a fantastic man who did so much for our industry.”


Georgia Love

Former Bachelorette Georgia Love, who worked the TV WEEK Logie Awards 2018 media room with Bert, captioned this picture with him, “Very sad to hear about the loss of Bert. It was a true career and life highlight meeting and interviewing the man who IS Australian TV to me. A huge loss, how lucky we were to be around in a time to be entertained by him.”


Anthony Callea

Anthony Callea revealed he is heartbroken and “sitting here with tears in my eyes eyes thinking of all times we shared together over the years, the text messages and conversations I will cherish forever…..

His post continued, ” It was a privilege to have known you, be in your presence and to be part of yours and Patti’s life. I will always hold the memory of our dressing room antics dear to my heart ❤️ Every time I have a Diet Coke or champagne in my hand I will always think of you! Thank you for giving me love and encouraging me to believe in myself. My heart goes out to the beautiful @pattinewtonofficial and your family 💔.

“Bert, you were and will always be THE ONE! May you eternally Rest In Peace…. Xx @pattinewtonofficial my heart is breaking for you. The love you had for each other is something I aspire to xx,” he finished.


Shaynna Blaze

Shaynna Blaze commented on how much Bert touched the lives of others with his incredible generosity.

“Bert Newton : Mr TV may you Rest In Peace. What a joyful person & how you spread your love through the screen, on stage and in person. You touched so many people throughout your life and we are all better for it. It will be sadder world without you.

Heartfelt condolences to Patty. Lauren & Mathew,” the interior design queen said.


Hamish and Andy

The Hamish and Andy Instagram shared a post on behalf of the media personalities.

It read, “Bert was always hugely generous with his time for our show and amazingly supportive of our fledgling careers. We’re lucky to have met and shared the airwaves with him. One of the greatest 📺.”


Shelley Craft

Alongside this picture Shelley Craft penned the simple caption, “Rest In Peace Sir. And thank you for everything 💛.”


Sam Mac

Sam Mac shared an Instagram post dedicated to Bert’s “charmisma” and he reflected on meeting him in 2015.

“I was lucky enough to meet him in 2015 when he was performing in Timewarp. I was interviewing some of his cast mates and I asked the PR team if it would be possible for me to go and say a quick hello to Bert. He could’ve very easily brushed it off as he’d finished his media commitments for the day. He had no obligation & nothing to gain from meeting me. But he welcomed me in.

“We spoke for 15 minutes and he was every bit as funny & friendly as he was on TV. I don’t get starstruck very often but being face to (moon)face with Bert was a surreal feeling. He’s TV royalty. A true icon. As I was leaving it was actually Bert who suggested we get a photo. He even suggested I put on his blue jacket from the show “we lose another button every time I breathe”. They might sound like little things, but from someone you admire, they’re big things. He just loved making people happy. And I walked away from that meeting on cloud 9. I walked away an even bigger fan,” he wrote.


Fifi Box

Fifi Box shared a lengthy caption about how much Bert meant to her and her grandmother.

“Bert your warmth, your generosity and your heart were as humongous as your phenomenal talent. You were a true star, the real deal. I grew up watching you, my family loved you and I’ll never forget when we first met in 2004 when I was a guest on the Morning Show. I brought my 93 year old Granny along who loved you and you were so unbelievably kind to her, you even wept because she reminded you of your mum. The world has lost one of its best, just heartbreaking. Sending so much love to @pattinewtonofficial @laurenelisenewton Matt and your whole family 💕😢💕,” she wrote.


Julia Morris

Julia Morris shared a video of Bert and reminisced about him giving her an encouragement award on New Faces in 1995.

“I am so very sad to hear of the passing of one of my industry heroes, the incomparable Bert Newton. In 1995, on New Faces, Bert gave me an encouragement award and over so many decades of my life, his encouragement never stopped. (The award was meant to be for talent but I think Bert gave it to me because I was a Catholic 😆) Bert was so many of my favourite things. Funny, inspiring, dignified, incredibly hard working and a proper showman. To Patti, Lauren, Matthew, Matt & the family, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Vale Bert Newton. Jx,” she wrote.

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Julia Morris Bert Newton Tribute


Grant Denyer

Grant Denyer shared a long message about the heartbreaking news.

“Ah s–t. This breaks my heart.Today we lose one of the greatest of all time, the incomparable Bert Newton. I watched this absolute master of his craft as a kid, only dreaming of one day standing in front of a camera just like him,” he began.

“Always hilarious, courageously creative and forever classy, this man was the best I ever saw. I was lucky enough to follow him as one of the hosts of Family Feud. I couldn’t be him, no one could. His wit was razor sharp and he commanded a stage like a king. He will forever be absolute royalty to me. The rest of us are just jesters. I remember he gave me the most encouraging words when I was a young no one. He saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself. He set the bar. We all just flounder under it.

“Tv just won’t ever be the same. Although I think I can hear the rib bursting laughs from Bert, Don and Graham from here. The angels better clear a spot because they’re about to get a show they’ll never forget. 😥 💔 #bertnewton #RIP,” he finished.


Georgie Parker

Georgie Parker wrote about watching Bert growing up, a message she paired with this picture.

“I grew up watching this genius. He was so generous, kind, smart and fantastically funny. With @pattinewtonofficial, his incredibly talented wife by his side, we were lucky enough to have him entertain us on tv, film and theatre for years. I wish he was here with us for longer. All my love to beautiful Patty, his children and grandkids 💜.”


David Campbell

David Campbell paid tribute to Bert by thanking him for taking a chance on him.

He wrote, “The end of an era. RIP Bert Newton. We all grew up with him. He loved this industry and supported so many of us. My thoughts go out to Patti and his kids. Thank you Bert. I was just a young singer and he always had me on his show. It was an absolute honour.”


Dannii Minogue

Dannii Minogue shared a video of Bert from their interview together on Good Morning Australia in 1992.

“Remembering Bert Newton today, and sending love to his family. The ultimate entertainer. RIP,” she wrote.

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Danni Minogue Bert Newton Good Morning Australia, 1992 tribute


Cameron Daddo

Cameron Daddo captioned this picture of Bert, “RIP Bert Newton. The quintessential Aussie performer. @bert_newtonofficial could do it all🙌 and did. You mentored a lot of us and showed how this business is done. You had suave, dignity, impeccable timing and generosity. Sending love to @pattinewtonofficial and the family #classact Vale Bert💔.”


Angela Bishop

Angela Bishop posted this selfie and paired it with the caption, “What a loss. There was no one else quite like the incredible Bert Newton. To this day I pinch myself that I was lucky enough to sit beside him as a young reporter once a week on Good Morning Australia. You never knew what he was going to say, but you knew you were going to laugh.

“He made every guest shine, and supported those in the biz with loyalty and opportunity.

This pic was taken at a 2013 production of Grease where he played Vince Fontaine – he joked that my Mum would probably want her hair back at the end of the season.

Adam Hills just wrote: “It’s up to all of us to take what he taught us, and keep his spirit alive”. He’s right.

“My deepest condolences to his beloved @pattinewtonofficial to @laurenelisenewton and Matt, Matthew and those grandchildren he treasured so much. Vale. 💔


Amanda Keller

“So very sad to hear the news of Bert Newton’s death. He and Patti have always been so kind, supportive and utterly charming to me through the years. What a legacy he leaves behind. Vale,” wrote Amanda Keller.

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