Bert Newton, Australian TV icon, dies aged 83

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Australian television icon Bert Newton has died at the age of 83, five months after having his leg amputated due to an infection.

The news was confirmed by Peter Ford on Twitter, who, according to news.com.au, was asked by Bert's wife Patty Newton to share the "very sad news" regarding the "showbiz icon".

Bert Newton
Bert Newton has died at the age of 83. Photo: Getty

"It was remarkable career on TV, stage & radio. Sadly he didn’t get the last chapter he deserved," Mr Ford tweeted. 

"He was a great mentor & friend to me. 

"Condolences to Patti,Lauren,Matthew & extended family."

The four-time gold Logie award-winning entertainer, who had his leg amputated in May this year due to a life-threatening infection, died at a private clinic in Melbourne.

Just days ago, Bert’s wife Patti shared a photo of him being reunited with his grandkids.

“That’s what happiness is,” she wrote.

bert newton with grandkids
Patti shared a photo of Bert being reunited with his grandkids last week. Photo: Instagram/Pattinewton

Peter Ford told radio show The Morning Rush with Sean and Kate back in May that the issue had been a toe infection that led to the leg amputation and began before Christmas last year before it 'kept on spreading'.

"It got worse... he was seeing doctors and specialists and they couldn’t seem to get it right, it kept on spreading," Ford said.

"Basically he was told last week, you have a couple of months to live, or if you have your leg amputated, you’ll probably have a few years. So, he agreed to have the leg amputated on Saturday."

Newton's health woes

Back in November, Bert's wife of 47 years, Patti Newton, took to Instagram to announce the former Good Morning Australia host had been admitted to hospital.

"Berts been in hospital, all good," she captioned a photo of him in a hospital bed wearing a face mask.

"'He's got a Lot of Living to Do'," she added.

Bert Newton and Patti Newton
Bert Newton and wife Patti Newton had been married for 47 years. Photo: Getty

While the cause of his hospitalisation was unclear, Patti said at the time that Bert was expected to stay in hospital for a week before starting rehabilitation "to improve his strength and fitness".

Prior to that, the multi-talented entertainer has fought his way through numerous health complications.

Newton spent time in hospital in 2011 after catching viral pneumonia and in 2012 he underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery.

In April 2017 he was rushed to Melbourne’s Epworth Hospital suffering from anaemia, with Patti staying by his side.

And in July 2019, an anonymous family friend told Woman’s Day Newton’s health was declining.

Bert is survived by two children, actor Matthew Newton and TV personality Lauren Newton who has six children of her own.

TV personality Bert Newton talks live during the production of
Bert Newton is a four-time gold Logie winner. Photo: Getty

Tributes for TV legend

Tributes have begun to flood social media for the veteran performer, who at just age 15, became Australia's youngest professional broadcaster, working at station 3XY.

He landed his first television job with Channel Seven as host of The Late Show in 1957 before becoming Graham Kennedy's straight-man on Channel Nine's In Melbourne Tonight.

Michael Healy, Nine’s Director of Television, said in a statement: "Bert Newton was a giant of our industry, entertaining generations of Australians across our television screens. He brought unbridled joy and laughter into our homes as part of so many programs, partnerships & formats."

Channel 10 Entertainment Editor Angela Bishop also wrote: "What a loss. There was no one quite like the great Bert Newton. To have lost him at 83 is still too soon, because he’s truly irreplaceable. Brilliant, cheeky, generous, kind. Sending deepest condolences to his beloved Patti, Lauren, Matthew and his treasured grandkids. Vale."

Today Extra host David Campbell wrote that it was “the end of an era.” 

"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," he added.

With additional reporting by AAP.

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