Don Harron, a Canadian actor and writer who brought laughter to Canadian and American audiences alike with his alter ego Charlie Farquharson, died Saturday. He was 90.
According to the Associated Press, his daughter Martha said Harron died in his Toronto home surrounded by his family. He had chosen not to undergo treatment for cancer.
Martha said he didn’t lose the wit he was known for at the end of his life.
“He was still sharp. He was still capable of being funny even though his voice was barely above a whisper,” she told the AP. “It’s horribly sad, but it’s beautiful too.”
Harron first introduced Farquharson, a country bumpkin who took any chance to make fun of all things Canadian, on a CBC television revue in 1952. He would go on to appear as the character on U.S. television variety show “Hee Haw.”
Farquharson was an author as well — Harron penned several books under the name.
Harron was also known for helping to bring the Lucy Maud Montgomery novel “Anne of Green Gables” to a CBC TV production in 1955. Nine years after it aired, “Anne of Green Gables” was also turned into a stage production, which has been performed for 50 consecutive years at the Charlottetown Festival on Prince Edward Island.
Harron made many appearances on American television in the 1960s, including roles in “Mission Impossible,” “The F.B.I.,” “The Outer Limits,” “12 O’Clock High” and “Dr. Kildare.”
Born in Toronto in 1924, Harron started his career as a cartoonist, drawing caricatures in the 1930s. He turned to showbiz when he landed an audition for CBC Radio.
The actor and writer pursued educational interests as well. The University of Toronto feted Harron with scholastic awards for his pursuit in philosophy.
Later in his life, Harron served as an advocate for seniors. In recent years, he appeared as Farquharson in PSAs encouraging the elderly to use walking aids.
Harron is survived by his partner Claudette Gareau and three daughters. His daughters have also taken to showbiz: Mary Harron has directed such films as “American Psycho,” and Kelly Harron is working on turning “Anne of Green Gables” into a film.