LONDON, UK (CelebrityAccess) – Veteran entertainer whose decades-long career on British and Australian TV, Rolf Harris, died today (May 23). A registrar at Maidenhead Town Hall confirmed his death and was reported by Britain’s Press Association (PA). The official cause of death has not been disclosed – however, reports surfaced in October that Harris was very sick with neck cancer and was receiving 24-hour care.
The Australian-born Harris was a TV family favorite for nearly 60 years before being convicted of a string of assaults in 2014, including one on an 8-year-old autograph hunter, girls in their early teens and abuse against his daughter’s friend.
Generations of children adored Harris for his TV personality. He was so respected at one point that he was granted the rare privilege of painting a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. However, all of that came crashing down when he was arrested in Britain in 2013 for sexual abuse allegations.
In July 2014, Harris was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault on four young girls from the 1960s to the 80s. One of the victims was Harris’ daughter’s friend, who claimed he molested her for six years between the ages of 13 – 19. Harris maintained that the relationship was consensual and his friends and family supported him throughout the trial.
Ultimately, Harris was convicted of all charges and sentenced to five years and nine months in prison.
Born in Perth, AUS, in 1930, Harris was an award-winning swimmer as a teenager. Harris launched his TV career with a slot on a BBC show in 1952 after failing art school.
Harris’s death comes just days after releasing a new ITV documentary about his crimes, telling of the rise and fall of the former “national treasure.”