Television icon Bert Newton, who died aged 83 following an illness, will be honoured with a state funeral in Victoria.
Premier Daniel Andrews described Newton as a “larrikin and a born entertainer”, noting Australians had never known television without him.
“He was there from the beginning. From black and white to colour – as TV changed, Bert endured,” Mr Andrews said.
“He lived his life on the silver screen — and we welcomed his wit and humour into our homes.
“We will all have an opportunity to honour his memory, his talent and his achievements at a state funeral.”
Details of the state funeral will be shared later, but according to entertainment journalist Peter Ford it will likely be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne.
Mr Andrews acknowledged Newton’s “legendary partnerships” with fellow television icons Graham Kennedy and Don Lane.
“For so many, those partnerships are as inseparable as they are memorable,” the Premier said.
While Newton “brought the Logies to life during TV’s golden era”, Mr Andrews said he was also a star on radio and stage, including performances in Phantom of the Opera and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“But above all his achievements, he was a family man and his greatest partnership was with his wife of almost 50 years, Patti,” the Premier said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her, their children and their grandchildren.
“Bert will live on in the memories of an entire generation. Gone but never forgotten.”
Affectionately known as Moonface, Newton had been in palliative care at a private clinic in Melbourne after having his leg amputated earlier this year due to a life-threatening infection.
Tributes have flowed for the beloved entertainer, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying there would never be another person 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,” Mr Morrison said.
“Four Gold Logies, hosting the Logies on 20 occasions and entertaining Australians for over half a century.
“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.”
Former Wheel of Fortune host John Burgess said on social media: “I had the absolute honour of sharing a stage on occasion with Bert and was able to step back and watch a star at work. The void he leaves behind is immeasurable.”
Comedian and television host Rove McManus wrote: “I don’t know that I’m ready to accept this yet. Today I lost a mentor and friend, our country lost an icon, but most importantly a family has lost their hero and soulmate.
“Sending love to all the Newtons, especially Patti. My heart is broken. Rest In Power, Albert Watson Newton.”
Newton is survived by his wife Patti, his two children Lauren and Matthew, and extended family.