Don Harron dies at 90; Canadian actor became a regular on 'Hee Haw'

Don Harron, who brought Charlie Farquharson character to 'Hee Haw,' dies at 90

Don Harron, a Canadian actor who entertained TV audiences with his comic alter ego Charlie Farquharson on the long-running TV variety show "Hee Haw," has died. He was 90.

Harron died Saturday at his Toronto home after choosing not to seek treatment for cancer, said his eldest daughter, Martha Harron.

Harron introduced his Farquharson character — a country bumpkin from rural Ontario dressed in a frayed gray cardigan sweater who poked fun at almost anything Canadian — on a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. television revue in 1952, drawing inspiration from a stint working on an Ontario farm. He went on to perform as Farquharson on "Hee Haw" from 1969 to 1986. He also wrote many books under the name of Charlie Farquharson.

He also appeared regularly on U.S. television shows in the 1960s, including "The F.B.I," "Mission Impossible," "12 O'Clock High," "The Outer Limits" and "Dr. Kildare."

In Canada, Harron is also known for helping bring "Anne of Green Gables," the classic Lucy Maud Montgomery novel about a red-haired orphan living on Prince Edward Island, to the stage.

He helped create a musical version of the novel for a CBC television production in 1955.

"I said I'd been reading a book to my kids called 'Anne of Green Gables' and it seems to me that this little girl has such an imagination that the only way you can really realize it would be in song," Harron recalled in a 2014 Canadian Press interview.

Nine years later, the TV version was adapted into a stage production.

The play has been performed for more than 50 consecutive years at the Charlottetown Festival on Prince Edward Island.

Harron was born in Toronto in 1924 and got his start as a child actor on CBC radio.

Besides his daughter Martha, he is survived by his partner, Claudette Gareau; two other daughters — Mary Harron, who directed "American Psycho" and other films, and Kelly Harron, who is working to turn the "Anne of Green Gables" musical into a film; and grandchildren.

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