Hundreds of family and friends will farewell entertainment legend Bert Newton at a state funeral in Melbourne on Friday, which will be broadcast live.
The man affectionately known as "Moonface" died aged 83 on November 30 at a private Melbourne clinic after his leg was amputated in May due to a life-threatening infection.
Friday's state funeral will be held at St Patrick's Cathedral in East Melbourne from 10am, for up to 500 guests.
While the public will not be able to attend due to COVID-safe requirements, the service will be streamed online and broadcast live on television networks Nine, Seven and Ten.
Melbourne-born Newton started in the radio business aged 12 and scaled the heights of Australian entertainment on stage and screen.
Alongside Graham Kennedy and Don Lane, he was part of a trio known as the kings of Australian television.
A stalwart of Australian theatre, Newton performed in Beauty and the Beast, The Sound of Music, Annie, The Rocky Horror Show, Grease and Wicked.
Several Melbourne theatres dimmed their lights for one minute at 7.30pm on Thursday to honour Newton's contribution to the industry.
"Bert was a great professional and an esteemed colleague and friend," Her Majesty's Theatre owner Mike Walsh said.
Theatre producer John Frost said he was a "wonderful mentor to young performers".
"Thank you Bert for all the laughs over the years; our industry is a lonelier place without you," he said.
The four-time Logie winner mentored comedians Adam Hills and Rove McManus, who each remembered him in tributes on social media.
"Bert Newton was 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," Hills said on Twitter.
McManus said he had lost a "mentor and friend" and Australia had "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," he said on Twitter.
Newton is survived by Patti, his wife of more than 46 years, children Lauren and Matthew, and grandchildren.
Australian Associated Press
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