(1 January 1942 - 22 March 2016)
Chris Covington was born in Croydon, England on New Year's Day 1942 to Peter and Eileen Covington. The family moved to Australia when Chris was around 7 years old, setting in Adelaide but moving to Woomera for a period of time during Chris' schooling. Throughout their childhood, Chris and his younger brother, Andrew were exposed to the theatre through their parents participation in local amateur productions, wherever they lived.

A few months working at the Commonwealth Bank in Adelaide were enough to convince him of the merits of a life on the stage. Youthful experiments with ventriloquism translated into opportunities to perform in the evolving world of live television, launching an international career as Chris Kirby. In Adelaide, he hosted a kids TV program establishing a life-long Australian fan base.

Marrying at 23, he moved to Sydney continuing his TV career and performing live. His performing career was turbo charged as the first Australian invited to appear live in New York on the Ed Sullivan Show. Touring and performing in the UK and Europe cemented his international reputation, with Sunday Night at the London Palladium, a Blackpool summer season with Tommy Cooper and touring with Ken Dodd.

He moved to the USA for 12 years during the 1970's, regularly returning to his Australian fans for TV and stage performances leading artists such as Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett and Charles Aznavour.

Like so many performers of his time, Kirby was the beneficiary of the thriving NSW Clubs live entertainment scene of the day.

He returned to Australia in the early 1980's to perform for the Queen at the Royal Variety Concert at the Opera House.

In 1987 he moved to a farmlet at Bucketty, north of Sydney following the birth of his youngest son, Peter, to kick off his writing and acting career with "The Total Eclipse of Toby Moon" and "Lips".

A victim of early-onset dementia, he is survived by his former wives, Judy, Debbie and Christine and children, Michael, Shahn and Peter.

Charity