Tributes pour in for Bert Newton after his death aged 83 from health battle

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Australians across the country have bid farewell to television legend Bert Newton. 

The death of the 83-year-old was announced late on Saturday night with tributes pouring in for the entertainer.

Politicians and fellow TV and radio personalities have farewelled the father and grandfather who died after a long health battle which saw him have one of his legs amputated.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a statement following the news, saying ‘there will never be another like him’.

‘Bert came into our homes and made himself very welcome. He was a regular guest and we always looked forward to his next visit,’ he said.

‘There was a familiarity that connected us to Bert, but it also connected us to each other. We could laugh together, that was his gift. 

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese shared his heartfelt condolences to Newton’s loved ones.

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‘My heart goes out to his family who have lost a husband, a father and friend. And to Australia who have lost an icon,’ he tweeted.

Former Labor leader Bill Shorten described Newton as a ‘world class entertainer’ and a ‘true Melbourne legend’.

Tributes have poured in for television legend Bert Newton who passed away at the age of 83

Tributes have poured in for television legend Bert Newton who passed away at the age of 83

7 News presenter Michael User offered a standing ovation to Newton

7 News presenter Michael User offered a standing ovation to Newton 

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Comedian Adam Hills said it was up to Australians to keep Newton's spirit alive in a touching tribute

Comedian Adam Hills said it was up to Australians to keep Newton’s spirit alive in a touching tribute

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese shared his heartfelt condolences to Newton's loved ones

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese shared his heartfelt condolences to Newton’s loved ones

Comedian Rove McManus said he didn't know if he could accept the news of his beloved friend

Comedian Rove McManus said he didn’t know if he could accept the news of his beloved friend

Today Extra host, David Campbell said the late TV star was ‘the ultimate showman’.

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‘The absolute and of an era. We all grew up with Bert. The ultimate showman. The man who made us all laugh,’ he wrote.

Comedian Adam Hills sung his praises, declaring Newton as the ‘ultimate entertainer’.

‘Australian TV wouldn’t be what it is without Bert. It’s up to us all to take what he taught us, and keep his spirit alive,’ he said.

Newton was a well loved entertainer having began his career in television in 1957

Newton was a well loved entertainer having began his career in television in 1957

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Bert is survived by his wife Patti (pictured together) and his two children and six grandkids

Bert is survived by his wife Patti (pictured together) and his two children and six grandkids

‘Enormous love to his family. Take a bow, Bert. You deserve the applause.’

Rove McManus shared his own heartfelt tribute.

‘I don’t know that I’m ready to accept this yet,’ he began. 

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‘Today I lost a mentor and friend, our country lost an icon, but most importantly a family has lost their hero and soul mate. Sending love to all the Newtons, especially Patti. My heart is broken. Rest In Power, Albert Watson Newton.’

Channel 9 presenter Richard Wilkins said Australia had ‘lost a legend’ while 7 News’ Michael Usher said Newton deserved a ‘standing ovation’.

Australia’s health minister Greg Hunt said Newton had ‘lit up’ the screens of families for decades.

‘He was a part of very fabric of our television landscape and a key part of the continuing evolution of the silver screen,’ Mr Hunt tweeted.

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Former deputy prime minister Michael McCormack said Bert was a constant in many Aussies’ living rooms.

‘Farewell to a true Australian entertainment icon,’ he shared. 

Newton had been receiving palliative care at a clinic in Melbourne at the time of his death which has sent shockwaves around the nation.

His health battle began in March when he was hospitalised for a toe infection.

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The infection deteriorated so severely that he underwent life-saving surgery in May to have his leg removed.  

At the time of his surgery, Patti, his wife of 47 years, told the Daily Telegraph she had ‘never seen anybody in more pain’ than her husband on the morning of his operation.

Newton had to undergo surgery to have his leg amputated in May this year, having fallen ill from a toe infection

Newton had to undergo surgery to have his leg amputated in May this year, having fallen ill from a toe infection

Bert and Patti have been married for 47 years and share two children and six grandchildren

Bert and Patti have been married for 47 years and share two children and six grandchildren

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She added: ‘I just felt he could not go through pain like he was going through for much longer.’

Bert went into surgery at 7.50am on May 8 and Patti learned it had been a success at 3pm. ‘It was a long day and a long wait,’ she said. 

Patti, 76, 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’.

‘This is not a death sentence,’ she said, adding: ‘He is lucky; he has got family all around him. The grandkids mean the world to him.’

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On October 24, Patti posted a photo of a beaming Bert recovering in his hospital bed while surrounded by five of his grandchildren.

‘That’s what happiness is,’ Patti captioned the photo. 

His career in the entertainment industry started when he was just 11-years-old after he scored a gig 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. 

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He made the leap to television in 1957, just one year after the launch of commercial television in Australia.

His career in the entertainment industry started when he was just 11-years-old after he scored a gig on radio station 3XY in 1950. Bert is seen surrounded by his family

His career in the entertainment industry started when he was just 11-years-old after he scored a gig on radio station 3XY in 1950. Bert is seen surrounded by his family

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.

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He then jumped over to rival network Nine and formed a friendship and partnership with Graham Kennedy.  

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.

Bert married wife Patti in 1974 at St Dominic’s Parish Church in Camberwell, in what ended up being one of the biggest celebrity weddings at the time.

The couple were besieged by fans and members of the media outside the church, and were barely able to make it through the crowd and into their waiting car to leave. 

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