Australian TV legend Bert Newton who was hospitalised with pneumonia has died, family tells the media.
The 78-year-old was ‘extremely ill’ and was surrounded by his family as he was treated in hospital, according to The Morning Show.
‘Bert Newton is extremely ill. He is battling pneumonia,’ entertainment reporter Peter Ford said on the program before his death.
A picture taken in hospital hours before he passed on shows a smiling Newton with his grandchildren around him.
Newton’s wife Patti was also reportedly by his side the entire time he was in hospital.
According Woman’s Day, Newton – who has regularly been pictured at his local TAB in recent years – was spending so much time on the punt that he’d driven his wife of 43 years to ‘breaking point.’
Although Newton was one of the highest-paid Australian TV stars in his prime, the couple have faced their share of financial troubles.
In 1993, they were revealed to be $1 million in debt, with the cause said to be Bert’s gambling.
A close friend of the couple said while they had recovered from their money woes, but Patti remains in ongoing fear of a gambling relapse.