For those of us who grew up with Anne of Green Gables and then Charlie Farquharson on Hee Haw, can anyone doubt that this icon of Canadian culture was good for our health?
Charlie Farquharson, a fictitious folksy story teller from Parry Sound, Ont. who poked fun at almost anything Canadian, became a cult classic that lasted decades.
Harron said a stint working on an Ontario farm inspired him to create the character in 1952.
“It took me 10 years really to bring it fully out in the open, to come out of the closet, Harron recalled in a 1977 CBC interview.
The Farquharson character debuted on CBC’s “The Big Review,” but went on to make regular appearances on the U.S. variety show “Hee Haw.”
But Harron’s most celebrated work was accomplished behind the scenes when he helped create the musical version of “Anne of Green Gables,” the Lucy Maud Montgomery classic about a red-haired orphan living on Prince Edward Island.
Harron joined forces with Norman and Elaine Campbell and Mavor Moore to turn the beloved novel into a CBC television production in 1955.
Harron told the Canadian Press that he didn’t have to dig deep for inspiration when Norman Campbell approached him about a collaboration.
“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 interview.