Rolf Harris, the disgraced artist who before his downfall enjoyed success in the UK and his native Australia, and who was commissioned to paint Queen Elizabeth II, has died at age 93 years old.
Born March 30, 1930 in Perth, Australia, Harris’ life and career will be remembered for two decades.
At the height of his stardom, following a move to the UK, Harris enjoyed star status on both sides of the globe, a television and popular music star, a swing board enthusiast and didgeridoo which had a string of hit singles. , and collaborations with The Wiggles and others.
Harris was, for decades, the face of British Paints in Australia and was derided in the popular British comedy series of the 70s and early 80s. Goodies. For millions of Australians and Britons, he was a broadcast star from their youth.
He had a string of UK chart hits, including “Two Little Boys” (Columbia), which has the distinction of being Britain’s very last No. 1 in the 1960s. “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport reached No. 9 in Britain in 1960, and he had a No. 3 hit with “Sun Arise” in 1962. He enjoyed another UK top 10 in 1993, when his cover of “Stairway to Heaven », a spin-off of the Australian television show The money or the gunreached No. 7.
The Guinness World Records book of British Hit Singles had summed up Harris as a “lovable Australian musician, entertainer and presenter”.
Along the way, he was elevated in the highest circles, being appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
In 2005, another honor, when he was asked by the BBC to create an oil painting of the Queen on the occasion of her 80th birthday, the sessions of which were captured for a documentary. The following year, in 2006, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
In 2013, Harris was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), in recognition of his distinguished service to the performing and visual arts, charities and international relations through the promotion of Australian culture, after his induction into the ARIA. Hall of Fame in 2008.
When his downfall was complete, Harris’ name had been erased from those history books.
His dramatic fall from grace began in 2013, when Harris was questioned and arrested by police as part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation into sexual abuse among members of England’s media elite, including the late Jimmy Savile. .
Following a trial in 2014, Harris was convicted of various indecent assaults between 1968 and 1986, and was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison. He was released in 2017 but denied any wrongdoing and never apologized to his victims.
According to the BBC, Harris died on May 10 and has already been buried, although details have been kept under wraps until now. His death certificate, the Society reports, says he died of neck cancer and “frailty of old age” at his home in Bray, Berkshire.
A statement from his family read: ‘This is to confirm that Rolf Harris recently passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends and has now been laid to rest. They ask you to respect their privacy. No further comments will be made. »