VIDEO – The actor, singer, swimming champion, painter or even TV host died at the age of 93 on May 10. His conviction had sent shock waves across the UK.
The Australian Rolf Harrisa former BBC star presenter who had been sentenced in 2014 for child molestation, died at the age of 93 from cancer, the PA news agency reported. He died on May 10 of cancer and due to his “old age” at his home in his village of Bray, southwest London, according to the British agency, citing the death certificate. His family confirmed he was dead “peacefully, surrounded by family and friends”. His funeral was held in secret, after British media recently reported that a private ambulance with shuttered windows was seen outside his home.
Former swimming champion, Commander of the Order of the British Empire – a title which was stripped from him in 2015 – Rolf Harris was a well-known personality in the United Kingdom. He painted a portrait of Elizabeth II for her 80th birthday and sang solo at Buckingham Palace on the occasion of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Host until 1993 of the program “Rolf’s Cartoon club” featuring cartoons, he had also recorded a video as part of an anti-pedocrime campaign titled “Children know how to say no”.
Sentenced to 5 years in prison
But Rolf Harris was sentenced in 2014 to five years and nine months in prison for aults committed between 1968 and 1986 on four victims aged 8 to 19. He had pleaded not guilty, while confessing “a part of shadow”. His conviction came in a period of scandals following the Jimmy Savile affair at the end of 2012. This other BBC star presenter, who died in 2011 at the age of 84, considered by Scotland Yard as “the worst predator” that the country has known, was rampant in particular in hospitals where he had his habits because of his charitable activities.
In 2017, Rolf Harris was acquitted of new charges of touching and ault on three women. He had been released in May of the same year. He broke into British television in 1953, becoming one of the country’s most popular presenters. He also topped the charts in the UK and Australia and performed seven times at the famous Glastonbury Festival. He achieved success in 1969 with his title Two Little Boysthe story of two young people growing up during a war, and performed his song Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sports with the Beatles.
His conviction had sent shock waves through the United Kingdom and Australia, countries he left at the age of 22 but where he has long been considered a national hero.