Patti Newton has revealed she missed her beloved husband Bert’s ‘last breath’ by only minutes.
Speaking for the first time since the TV legend’s death aged 83 on Saturday, the singer, 76, said she was notified of his passing shortly after leaving his bedside.
‘I missed him, but maybe he didn’t want me to be there for his last breath,’ Patti said as she was joined by two of her granddaughters outside the family home in Melbourne.
Grief-stricken Patti Newton is seen for the first time since her husband Bert’s tragic death aged 83 following a long battle with his health
‘I left [the clinic where Bert was in palliative care] at ten past seven, and I was just pulling around to come into my drive and I get the call to say he’d taken his last breath at 7.22pm,’ she said.
‘It’s very, very devastating. All our hearts are breaking because he was just the most wonderful man.’
Patti, who was married to Bert for 47 years, said she hoped her late husband ‘will be remembered for legend that he was’.
‘He had such a fabulous attitude. And he gave us so much joy right up to the end.’
‘I love that attitude of his, he was never going to give up and that’s what we have to take with us. We have to just make sure that the love he gave us stays with us forever.’
Speaking of her late husband’s work ethic, Patti said ‘All he could talk about was things that he had in mind [to do].’
Of the family’s pain, Patti said: ‘It’s hard. It’s hard for this age group [our daughter] Lauren and [our granddaughter] Eva were out to dinner last night, just having a quick little girls’ meal. And I rang and poor Eva had to come, she didn’t go in, we felt that was too much for her.
‘I can’t get that out of my mind, really, but I have to think that he’s at peace and he’s not in pain. [Our granddaughters] Eva and Lola, both the loves of his life.’
Patti emerged from her Melbourne home, just hours after the shock announcement that Bert passed away having suffered a long health battle which led to one of his legs being amputated
Patti walked along the path out the front of her home as she spoke on the phone in the wake of her husband’s death
The actress and dancer emerged from her Melbourne home on Sunday, just hours after the shock announcement that the TV personality passed away having suffered a long health battle which led to one of his legs being amputated.
Patti walked along the path outside her home as she spoke on the phone in the wake of her husband’s death.
She wore black jeans, a matching coloured top and boots as she held her phone in her hand.
Hours later, Patti’s daughter Lauren and her two children were seen arriving to comfort her.
Lauren carried her young son, Alby, as she held her daughter’s hand and walked inside after parking her car.
Hours later, Patti’s daughter Lauren and two of her children was seen arriving to the family’s home to comfort her
Speaking for the first time since the TV legend’s death, Patti said she was notified of his passing shortly after leaving his bedside
Premier Daniel Andrews issued a statement following the news of his death, saying the TV icon will ‘live on in the memories of an entire generation’, and said a state funeral will be held.
‘Bert Newton was an icon, a larrikin and a born entertainer. We have never known TV without Bert – he was there from the beginning. From black and white to colour – as TV changed, Bert endured,’ he said.
‘He lived his life on the silver screen — and we welcomed his wit and humour into our homes.
‘As we reflect on his legacy in the coming days, we’ll all be reminded of his legendary partnerships with Graham Kennedy and Don Lane. For so many, those partnerships are as inseparable as they are memorable.
‘He brought the Logies to life during TV’s golden era. And while TV was always his anchor, Bert was also a star on radio and the stage — performing in some of our most iconic musicals including Phantom of the Opera and the Rocky Horror Picture Show among others.
‘But above all his achievements, he was a family man and his greatest partnership was with his wife of almost 50 years, Patti. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, their children and their grandchildren.
‘We will all have an opportunity to honour his memory, his talent and his achievements at a state funeral – details will be shared in the coming days. Bert will live on in the memories of an entire generation. Gone, but never forgotten. Vale Bert Newton.’
The service will most likely be held at Bert’s ‘beloved’ St Pat’s Cathedral in Melbourne.
Bert’s health first became a concern in 2012 when he underwent a quadruple bypass.
In the years following the surgery, the four-time Logie winner was hospitalised three times with pneumonia and was also diagnosed with anaemia.
Bert was hospitalised in March and underwent surgery on his leg in May. He needed surgery after his toe became infected before Christmas.
The infection was ‘linked to his diabetes’ and was threatening his life with doctors telling himthe surgery was a ‘life or death decision’.
Doctors reportedly told Bert that if he kept the leg then he would have just ‘months to live’ rather than years if he chose to amputate.
‘I left [the clinic where Bert was in palliative care] at ten past seven, and I was just pulling around to come into my drive and I get the call to say he’d taken his last breath at 7.22pm,’ she said
‘It’s very, very devastating. All our hearts are breaking because he was just the most wonderful man,’ she said
Patti, who was married to Bert for 47 years, said she hoped her late husband ‘will be remembered for legend that he was’
She wore black jeans, a matching coloured top and boots as she held her phone in her hands
Lauren carried her young son Alby as she held her daughter’s hand
She then walked to her mother’s home after parking her car
At the time of his surgery, Patti told the Daily Telegraph she had ‘never seen anybody in more pain’ than her husband on the morning of his operation.
She added: ‘I just felt he could not go through pain like he was going through for much longer.’
Patti also spoke of her husband’s fighting spirit, saying the grandfather of six agreed to the life-changing surgery because ‘he has so much to live for’.
‘He is lucky; he has got family all around him. The grandkids mean the world to him.’
At the time of his death he had been receiving palliative care at a clinic in Melbourne.
The TV personality is survived by Patti, his two children Lauren and Matthew, and six grandchildren.
Tributes: At one point a floral arrangement was delivered to the home of the grieving widow
Lauren’s husband former Olympian husband Matt Welsh was seen delivering food to the family
Bert has been in the entertainment industry since age 11, when he started appearing on radio station 3XY in 1950.
He continued doing ad reads for the station throughout high school, and eventually dropped out of school to work there as a DJ.
He made the leap to television in 1957, just one year after the launch of commercial television in Australia.
With a showbiz career spanning across eight decades, Newton was the last remaining link between the dawn of Aussie television and today’s industry.
His first major gig on the small screen was as the host of The Late Show from 1957 to 1959.
He then jumped over to rival network Nine and formed a friendship and partnership with Graham Kennedy.
He quickly became Kennedy’s loveable sidekick and the pair worked together across various shows for almost fifteen years.
Newton hosted The Annual TV Week Logie Awards for the first time in 1968, and would go on to host the prestigious ceremony a total of 19 times.
He was also awarded the coveted Gold Logie four times.
One of his most popular roles was as the host of the wildly successful talent show New Faces, from 1976 to 1985.
In his later years, he became best known for hosting Good Morning Australia from 1993 to 2005 and Nine’s 20 to 1 from 2006 to 2011.
Throughout his career, he was affectionally known by fans and the general public as ‘Moonface’.
He got the iconic nickname during his time on The Don Lane Show in the 70s.
At the time of his death Bert had been receiving palliative care at a clinic in Melbourne
The TV personality is survived by his wife of 47 years Patti, his two children Lauren and Matthew, and six grandchildren