TV great Bert Newton dies aged 83

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Australian entertainment legend Bert Newton has died aged 83.

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

His widow Patti has accepted a Victorian government offer of a state funeral.

The Nine Network, with which Newton - affectionately known as Moonface - was longest associated, confirmed the news of his death, sparking a widespread response from high-profile entertainers and politicians.

"Australian TV wouldn't be what it is without Bert," comedian Adam Hills tweeted.

"It's up to us all to take what he taught us, and keep his spirit alive."

Fellow comedian Rove McManus said in a tweet he was heartbroken.

"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 soul mate," McManus said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said overnight from the G20 summit in Rome Newton had invited himself into Australian living rooms during a golden era of television when everyone seemed to watch the same thing at the same time.

"And he was such a welcome guest," he said.

"Every time he came into our living rooms, we always looked forward to coming back.

"He had a great sense of humour and he understood, probably better than most, self-deprecating humour, which is a real Australian trait. He had it down to a tee."

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.

His TV credits include In Melbourne Tonight, The Graham Kennedy Show, The Don Lane Show, Good Morning Australia, New Faces, Bert's Family Feud and 20 to 1.

On stage he played roles in the musicals Wicked, Annie, Grease and as narrator in The Rocky Horror Show.

"Bert Newton was a giant of our industry, entertaining generations of Australians across our television screens," Nine's director of television Michael Healy said in a statement.

"He brought unbridled joy and laughter into our homes as part of so many programs, partnerships and formats."

Newton is survived by Patti, his wife of more than 46 years, children Lauren and Matthew, and grandchildren.

Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese said Australia had "lost an icon".

"My heart goes out to his family who have lost a husband, a father and friend," he tweeted.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews described Newton as "an icon, a larrikin and a born entertainer".

"We have never known TV without Bert," he said.

"He was there from the beginning. From black and white to colour, as TV changed, Bert endured."

Mr Andrews said Newton's memory, talent and achievements would be honoured at a state funeral, with details to be shared in the coming days.

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