…By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
No amount of popularity, creativity, and money can transform an individual if they are a criminal at heart.
Rolf Harris, once a much-loved artist, became the least desirable artist of all times due to his tainted reputation and proven crimes.
After living a life full of controversies and a blemished reputation, the disgraced entertainer passed away at the age of 93.
His death was officially announced on May 23rd, 2023, but there are reports suggesting that he actually passed away two weeks prior to the official announcement.
Harris had been gravely ill with neck cancer, which ultimately took his life.
According to Harris’ death certificate, he died on May 10th from cancer and old age, and his body was to be cremated.
His family released a statement saying that he passed away peacefully at his £7m home in Bray, Berkshire, surrounded by loved ones and friends.
In the months leading up to his death, Harris had been receiving round-the-clock care for his metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the neck.
He had stopped talking and was being fed through a tube.
The registrar at Maidenhead Town Hall confirmed his death.
Now, let’s delve into the rise and fall of Rolf Harris’ career.
Rolf Harris was a multi-talented artist who was beloved before his criminal activities came to light.
He excelled as a musician, painter, TV host, and comedian, particularly in children’s entertainment.
Born on March 30, 1930, in Perth, Western Australia, Harris moved to the United Kingdom in his early twenties and attended the City and Guilds of London Art School.
He began his career in the 1960s, hosting shows like Rolf’s Cartoon Time, Rolf’s Cartoon Club, and Animal Hospital.
Harris gained fame with his hit song “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport.”
He became a renowned star in the UK and often appeared on shows alongside Jimmy Savile.
His famous catchphrase, “Can you tell what it is yet?,” uttered while drawing, always generated excitement among the audience.
Harris’ fame soared when he painted an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace to commemorate her 80th birthday in 2005.
He also had the honor of performing at the Glastonbury Festival in 2010 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012.
His original paintings commanded high prices, with some selling for up to £30,000.
Despite his fame, wealth, and success, Harris committed unforgivable crimes that tarnished his legacy.
In 2014, after nearly five decades in the entertainment industry, Harris was investigated and convicted of indecent assault against four girls.
The assaults took place in the 1980s, and he was convicted of 12 counts of indecent sexual assault and four counts of producing indecent child images.
One of the victims was just seven or eight years old, and others included a childhood friend of his daughter and a young autograph hunter.
Harris was rightly labeled a pedophile by the judge in his case, Mr. Justice Sweeney.
The judge told him that his reputation lay in ruins, he had been stripped of his honors, and he had no one to blame but himself.
The judge highlighted how Harris had taken advantage of his celebrity status and showed no remorse for his heinous crimes.
In 2014, Harris was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison.
He was released from jail in May 2017, after serving only three years of his nearly six-year sentence, for reasons that remain unidentified.
In an appeal to the Court of Appeal in London, one conviction was overturned, but the other 11 remained intact.
Harris’ net worth at the time of his death was estimated to be $19 million.
However, his crimes and imprisonment rendered his wealth worthless.
He is survived by his wife, Alwen Hughes, whom he married in 1958, a couple of years before his entertainment career took off.
They had one daughter named Bindi Harris.
Neither his wife nor his daughter have made any comments regarding his passing.
However, Bindi did speak out when her father’s long-running relationship with her childhood playmate was revealed, describing it as a devastating moment.
With Rolf Harris’ net worth, legacy, crimes, and infamy now buried, his story comes to an end.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn