Rolf Harris, Disgraced Host of British and Australian Kids’ TV, Dies at 93
Rolf Harris, a once-beloved British kids’ TV personality who was later sentenced to five years in prison for a string of assaults on young girls, has died, the BBC reported Tuesday. He was 93.
The Australian entertainer was found guilty in 2014 of assaulting four girls between 1968 and 1986 and served three and a half years before being released in 2017. Before that, he was a widely beloved figure in the U.K. and Australia across five decades.
The trial judge admonished Harris for an apparent lack of remorse, and he never appeared on TV again.
Harris was also a prolific musician, songwriter, comedian, actor, and painter, having painted Queen Elizabeth’s official portrait in 2005. He used unique instruments in his performances, with particular proficiency at the didgeridoo and stylophone.
Harris’ entertainment career began in the 1950s with several hit songs, including “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport,” “Jake the Peg” and “Two Little Boys,” which reached No. 1 in the U.K. He would later host hit shows “Rolf’s Cartoon Club” and “Animal Hospital.”
Harris was arrested as part of a sweeping police investigation into historical allegations of sexual offenses in 2013. He denied any wrongdoing but was eventually charged with nine counts of indecent assault involving underage girls, including the production of indecent images.
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