Don Harron, the Canadian actor who played rustic Charlie Farquharson on the country-themed TV series Hee Haw, died of cancer at his home in Toronto on Jan. 17 at the age of 90.
A classically-trained actor, Harron was equally at home pacing the Broadway stage or parked on a Hee Haw hay bale, clad in a ratty cardigan sweater, baggy trousers and tattered cap.
As Charlie Farquharson, Harron specialized in heavily-accented observational comedy. He appeared regularly on the show from 1969 to 1982.
Sporting a grizzled, two-day beard and looking wide-eyed and alarmed through his round spectacles, Harron often delivered his pronouncements at the microphone of the mythical Hee Haw radio station, KORN.
Here’s how Harron reproduced Farquharson’s attitude and speech in one of the several books he wrote as that character:
“Every guvmint estimit incloods an extry estimit of how much more it’s gonna cost than yer ferst estimit. That’s how come they always leeve this big deficit on the floor of yer House. And a deficit is what you’ve got wen you haven’t got as much as if you jist had nothin’. If we tried any of this, we’d end up in jail.”
Harron said he first introduced the character of Farquharson on Canadian Broadcast Corporation television in 1952 and that it was inspired by his experience working on an Ontario farm.
He reprised Farquharson on The Red Green Show TV series in 2003-2004.
Earlier in his career, Harron appeared in the Broadway dramas Separate Tables and The Tenth Man and acted in various Shakespearean roles.