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Rolf Harris: The Tragic Fall of a Once-Adored Children’s Entertainer
For decades, Rolf Harris was a beloved figure in the world of children’s entertainment, known for his jolly onscreen persona and catchy songs. He was so respected in Britain that he was even granted the rare privilege of painting a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. But in 2013, his reputation was shattered when he was arrested in relation to sexual abuse allegations.
Many were left in disbelief when Harris was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault on four young girls from the 1960s to the ’80s in July 2014. Prosecutors said he had a “Jekyll and Hyde” personality and used 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. Harris had said their relationship was consensual, and his relatives and friends supported him throughout the trial. But a jury convicted him of all charges, and a judge sentenced him to five years and nine months in prison.
Harris’ fall from grace was a tragic one. He had enjoyed a 60-year career as a successful television presenter, songwriter, and artist. Born in 1930 in a suburb of Perth, Australia, Harris was an award-winning swimmer as a teenager. After several failed attempts at art school, he launched his television career with a slot on a BBC show in 1952.
As well as hosting children’s shows, Harris was also known in the ’60s for performing popular songs including “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” and “Two Little Boys,” which became a No.1 Christmas hit in Britain. By the 2000s, he was considered by many to be a national treasure of sorts: The queen sat for a portrait painted by him in 2005 to mark her 80th birthday, and he starred in a concert celebrating the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.
But all of that came crashing down when his past caught up with him. His conviction led to the withdrawal of his fellowship from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, which had previously described him as “one of the world’s most iconic entertainers.”
Harris’ legacy is a complicated one. He brought joy to millions of children around the world, but his crimes against young girls cannot be ignored or excused. His fall from grace serves as a reminder that no one is above the law, no matter how adored they may be.
The death of Harris at the age of 93 marks the end of a long and often controversial career. While he will undoubtedly be remembered for his crimes, it is important to also acknowledge the positive impact he had on the world of children’s entertainment. But ultimately, his legacy will forever be tarnished by his actions, and his story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of abusing power and fame.
- Rolf Harris
- Children’s TV entertainer
News Source : Reported by PTI
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