Bert Newton’s death was always bound to rock the country. The performing icon’s career has spanned generations, with the 83-year-old being a staple on our screens since the late ‘50s.
Couple that with the countless testimonies of Bert’s heart of gold, it’s no surprise he is being honored with a state funeral on Friday 12th November.
While 500 guests are expected to be in attendance, so many more will be watching via their screens as the TV veteran is remembered in an official send-off at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne at 10 am.
The funeral is to be live-streamed, with major networks Nine, Seven, and 10 all sharing footage from the ceremony.
While we don’t know exactly who is attending as of yet, there are bound to be many of Bert’s industry pals there to say their goodbyes.
But the front of everyone’s minds is Bert’s widow, Patti Newton, who has been left grief-stricken after losing her husband.
Patti Newton’s heartbreak at losing Bert
Patti remained by Bert’s side for nearly 50 years of marriage. The fellow performer mourned her husband’s death soon before the couple was due to celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary on November 9th.
Crestfallen at losing her soulmate, Patti addressed the public about the emotional chasm she and her family have experienced since Bert’s passing.
“It’s very, very devastating. All our hearts are breaking because he was just the most wonderful man,” she told reporters outside of the family home the day after his passing.
“He had such a fabulous attitude. And he gave us so much joy right up to the end.”
The performer also spoke about her final moments with her husband, explaining that she tragically missed his last breath.
“I left at ten past seven, and I was just pulling around to come into my drive and I get the call to say he’d taken his last breath at 7.22 pm.
“So I missed him, but maybe he didn’t want me to be there for his last breath.
“We have to just make sure that the love he gave us stays with us forever,” the 76-year-old added.
What’s more, after Olivia Newton-John penned a sweet tribute to her late friend on Instagram, expressing her condolences to Patti and the rest of Bert’s family in the process, Patti thanked the Grease star for her kind words, while reiterating that her “heart is broken”.
One of Patti’s oldest friends, Denise Drysdale, also spoke about the performer’s grief to Woman’s Day, emphasizing that “Bert meant everything to Patti” and she was inconsolable on her friend’s behalf.
“They were one of the most loving and beautifully dedicated couples I’ve known.”
For Bert’s funeral, the TV icon’s longtime friend and entertainment reporter Peter Ford explained on The Morning Show that Patti had met with representatives from the Premier’s office to discuss the arrangements for the service.
“I think what Patti was very determined to do was to try and find that middle ground between it being a religious service, a mass, but also have the show business element as well,” Peter said.
Rest In Peace Bert.
*Content sourced from New Idea