Rolf Harris death: what happened to wife Alwen and daughter Bindi - and where are they now?

Rolf Harris had been married for over five decades at the time of his arrest in 2014

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The family of disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris have revealed that he died at the age of 93 earlier this month.

Australian-born Harris had been popular in his native Australia but also in the UK for his work as a musician, singer-songwriter, composer, comedian, actor, painter and television personality. His career spanned more than six decades before he was found guilty of multiple offences against children ten years ago.

A statement from his family, released through his solicitor, said: “This is to confirm that Rolf Harris recently died peacefully surrounded by family and friends and has now been laid to rest. They ask that you respect their privacy. No further comment will be made.”

Harris’ family include a wife and a daughter, but who are they, and how did they respond to his conviction?

Who is Rolf Harris’ wife?

Rolf Harris was married to Alwen Hughes, a Welsh sculptor and jeweller. The pair met while they were both art students and married on 1 March 1958 in London. Hughes, who is known for her eccentric and unusual taste, supposedly chose a poodle to be her bridesmaid during the ceremony. 

Hughes stood by Harris when he was found guilty of 12 indecent assaults on four underage girls between 1968 and 1986 and sentenced to over five years in jail in 2014. The couple had therefore been married for 65 years prior to Harris’ death. 

Alwen Hughes was born on 26 December 1931 in north London. She is now 91.  In more recent years, she has been pictured in a wheelchair and has been in poor health, which was confirmed by Harris' statement following his release from prison in 2017. At the time, his solicitor read a statement from him saying: "Whilst I am pleased that this is finally over, I feel no sense of victory - just relief. I am 87-years-old, my wife is in ill health and we simply want to spend our remaining time together."

Rolf Harris with his wife Alwen and daughter Bindi.Rolf Harris with his wife Alwen and daughter Bindi.
Rolf Harris with his wife Alwen and daughter Bindi.

Reports in The Mirror suggest Hughes is now suffering from Alzheimer's disease. She was also unwell while Harris was serving his jail sentence. Singer Vince Hill said Harris was the sole carer of Alwen, who he said was "in a terrible state". He told the Sunday People in 2014: "Alwen is very poorly. We’re all very worried about her. I don't know if she will survive his prison term. She's quite fragile. She suffers from arthritis and she's had hip-replacements and God knows what.”

Before Harris' death earlier this month, the couple were both said to be receiving round-the-clock care at their home in Berkshire, South East England, as they were both suffering from serious illnesses. One of their neighbours, Portia Wooderson, told The Sun: "Only carers and nurses, who care for him 24 hours, come and go".

Who is Rolf Harris’ daughter?

Rolf Harris and Alwen Hughes had one daughter, Bindi Harris, who was born on 10 March 1964. The 59-year-old also stood by her disgraced father when he was found guilty of the sex offences, and attended court with her mother every day during Harris’ trial.

She grew up in Berkshire, but was named after the town of Bindi Bindi in Australia. Like her parents, Bindi also had an interest in art, although she dropped out of art school at the age of 16. She went on to work at shops such as Miss Selfridge and also a hairdressers salon. At 21, however, she enrolled at Bristol University to study fine art. 

After she graduated, Bindi began a relationship with fellow artist Malcolm Cox. The pair had a son, Marlon, who was born in 1996 and is now 27. Bindi later separated from Cox and she then married another artist, Craig Nicholls, in 2008. She is still an abstract artist and has had her work exhibited at various galleries.

Bindi allegedly defended her dad in an unpublished book she wrote in 2018 called Living With a Pervert. In an extract seen by the Daily Star, she supposedly said: “Dad is from the age of Benny Hill, Carry On films. He is Australian, which was pretty male chauvinist in those days, that is the era he is from, so sometimes he says non-PC jokes.”

She continued: “He loves a flirt, which he does very openly, much to my embarrassment, but I have met many a man from my dad’s generation like that”. She also claimed: “It’s harmless and you know it doesn’t lead anywhere. Dad loves to give compliments to women so they feel good, for no other reason”.

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