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Rolf Harris, former family entertainer and convicted sex offender, dies

<i>Alex B. Huckle/GC Images/Getty Images</i><br/>Disgraced children's entertainer Rolf Harris
Alex B. Huckle/GC Images/Getty Images
Disgraced children's entertainer Rolf Harris

By Lindsay Isaac and Jorge Engels, CNN

(CNN) — Rolf Harris, the former entertainer and convicted sex offender, has died aged 93, according to the Press Association.

The Australian-born TV presenter was sentenced in 2014 at the age of 84, to five years and nine months in prison for a string of indecent assaults against women and girls. The offenses Harris committed against four women took place as far back as 1970.

PA reported that Harris died of neck cancer and “frailty of old age” at his home in Bray in Berkshire, southeast England, on May 10, according to his death certificate.

Harris, who painted a portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II for the former monarch’s 80th birthday in 2006, was once one of Britain’s most-popular children’s entertainers. He had a string of hits in the 1960s, including “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport,” “Jake the Peg” and “Two Little Boys.” He also had a decades-long television career at the BBC and received several honors, including the Order of the British Empire.

He was one of several public figures who were charged and convicted by police as part of Operation Yewtree, which was set up to investigate sexual abuse claims after a 2012 documentary by broadcaster ITV unraveled a wave of allegations against the late TV entertainer Jimmy Savile.

The three-pronged inquiry exposed the scale of abuse perpetrated by entertainers who were once beloved by audiences in Britain, sending cultural shockwaves through the country.

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CNN’s Laura Smith-Spark contributed reporting.

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