Rolf Harris, Disgraced Children’s Television -News

Rolf HarrisThe veteran entertainer, who was a family favorite for decades on British and Australian TV but was found guilty of sexually assaulting young girls, has died. He is 93 years old.

A registrar at Maidenhead Town Hall in west London confirmed his death to the Press Association news agency on Tuesday.

Harris, a hit with Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, is beloved by generations of children for his joyous presence on screen and is so respected in Britain that he was given the rare privilege of being able to Kangaroo painted portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1998, Rolf Harris and a lemur launched “Rolf’s Wonderful Animal World” at the London Zoo.Peter Jordan/AP

But his reputation crumbled in 2013 when he was arrested in Britain on sex abuse charges.

In July 2014, Harris was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault against four young girls from the 1960s to the 1980s, beyond the belief of many. Prosecutors said he had a “Jekyll and Hyde” personality, using his fame to exploit his victims.

Among the victims was a friend of Harris’ daughter who claimed he molested her when she was 13 to 19 years old. Harris said their relationship was consensual and that his relatives and friends supported him throughout the trial.

But a jury found him guilty of all charges and the judge sentenced him to five years and nine months in prison.

Harris enjoyed a 60-year career as a successful television host, songwriter and artist. He is best known for his children’s television shows such as “Rolf’s Cartoon Age” and “Animal Hospital” and for writing many hit songs in the 1960s.

Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris leaves court in London in 2017. Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Born in 1930, Harris grew up in the suburbs of Perth, Australia, and was an award-winning swimmer as a teenager. After several failed attempts at art school, Harris began his television career in 1952 with an appearance on a BBC programme.

As well as hosting children’s shows, Harris was also known for singing popular songs in the 60s, including “Two Little Boys”, which became the number one Christmas song in the UK.

By the 2000s, he was considered a national treasure by many: In 2005, the Queen sat in front of his portrait to celebrate her 80th birthday, and in 2012 he starred in a concert outside Buckingham Palace celebrating the Sovereign’s Diamond Jubilee.

Following his conviction, the Bafta Academy, which has described Harris as “one of the most iconic entertainers in the world”, said it would withdraw his scholarship.

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