Sydney radio presenter Andrew Harwood has died in a Sydney hospital from a severe asthma attack. He was 62.
More recently a presenter on radio stations 2UE and 2GB, Harwood will also be remembered for TV work as host of 1970s versions of quiz shows Jeopardy and It’s Academic, as well as guest appearances on The Paul Hogan Show and as voice-over announcer at ATN7. In the 1980s, Harwood appeared It Could Be You and Good Morning Sydney, and hosted quiz show Class Of ’82.
The son of former Beauty And The Beast panellist Ena Harwood, Harwood is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald, TV Tonight
Picture: TV Week, 18 December 1982
A gentleman in every sense of the word.
I hate the way it says Andrew was survived by wife and 2 daughters. I was his partner for many years as he was legally separated. One daughter was to another women when we weren’t together. I knew Andrew 17 years and dated for 7 years. People always saw us together. Sad to see they report he left a wife. May my darling rest in peace.
I have just spent an hour in a reverie of remembrance of the formative years Andrew and I were close friends. Sadly some idiot sent me a message and in receiving it I lost my long and emotional recounting of the packed colourful and competitive relationship between Andy and myself. I would be surprised if after our friendship played out he had as an intense, intellectual, brotherly and sensual friendship as we had . Nothing poofy here , my dear , We were Medical students together, fooled about and failed…regrouped and decided that blessed with wit , intelligence, humour and articulacy ….we were destined for the Law. That decision was validated by our observation that the Sydney Uni girls lacked that “Je ne sais quoi” , were in fact “daggy” and unworthy of our attentions. On the other hand the city environs of the Law School abounded with attractive law clerks and other secretarial and possibly managerial femmes…upon whom we might, if they had any descrimination, we might be duty bound to bestow a little Aristocratic “jig-a-jig…to open their eyes to a real epiphany of what life could offer in the company of enlightened gentlemen as in all humility we believed we were. I’m sure you can see through this….we were an army of two “private” soldiers eloquently reassuring each other of our mutual esteem and confirming our”Olympian ” right to “pee ” down upon those we deemed inferior. For me it was a childish denial of labels placed upon me by insensitive parents and expensive educators – my retreat into a defensive “castle” of the mind until I could validate myself . However I’m not sure what Andrews motive was. Ther was no real malice in our patrician “distaste” for the “lumpen proletariat ” It was an adoption of Shakespearean theatrical upper class language ..to amuse each other…but years later I realised there was a deeper meaning.
As with Medicine we were too distracted by merry making to succeed and again bombed out ….in the academic sense.
We had an almost theatrical friendship, competing with poetic and literary quotations, contrived derogatory descriptions of each other …our audience being largely ourselves and two long-suffering girlfriends. But we four had marvellous, crazy times …naughty winter weekends away at the Leura Motel…reading poetry and singing Scottish battle songs in front of the fire ….then running naked across the driveway, jumping in the pool and back to the fireside. And in his converted tennis shed at 100A , room full of the scent of burning sandalwood, record player playing Maurice Ravel’s “La mere l’oye, Eric Satie and other romantic music we were young, vulnerable and totally eccentric, madly endulging in our particular personal performances – in my case searching for identity and social currency having been a child locked in by High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, undetected by anybody and punished by many , till I made my own diagnosis last year.
I’ve had many male friends during my life but the mad association at AT THAT TIME between us two blokes had a timing, a basis in shared intellectual and humorous pursuits, seasoned with our shared sensuous romantic interests was for me the right formative interest for my time. I was sad that, knowing his intellectual capacity he settled for ” the bright lights” and what I saw as the cheap thrills of easy conquests that came with his degree of prominence. I’m fatigued , having been at this with digital dropout for some time. I have enjoyed the memories and if you loved Andrew, sorry you didn’t get my earlier exposé of our naughty adventures. If you do chance to receive this date expired message Michelle I would be happy to hear from you. ( unedited due to need to feed my animals- one, to emphasise its starving condition is lying on my keyboard) The more I have dissolved into the remembrance of those years, the more I hope to hear from you. As I knew A from an early age I may have answers for you, as you may have for me. It’s ironic that only this morning I pulled from my library a volume of the works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poems and read the dedication written by Andrew on my birthday. Although laudatory, I must read closer , as I’m sure somewhere he was taking the piss out of my pretensions.
Should I not hear from you, dear girl, I’m sure in my belief that knowing Andy was for you from time to time vexing, disconcerting (as he lived in the moment and like a gecko next to a stairwell light drawn to any fluttering butterfly that passed) but never dull and I’m sure that as he aged and became more self aware could be a devoted companion. As you can see I was intrigued by your comments on the mention of certain people in his obituary. I was not surprised by his cause of death…during the years of our friendship I provided boxes of cigars and smoked French Gitanes and other Turkish fags with an ivory cig holder( one of my theatrical props along with pig skin cig case and Dunhill lighter. I think Andy smoked Rothmans…not sure . But I was surprised as Ena and Andrews sister Sarah .? had severe asthmatic attacks. I played squash with Andrew at the Lawschool courts and despite being a footy star a few years before he ran the legs off me. If he had that susceptibility, it suggests a bit of death-daring..,Eh?
My best wishes to you Michelle and hope that out of the electronic ether, I may hear from you.
Hail Sir James W.!
It is no woolly or cock & bull story that Sir Andrew has led me to your relatively recent posting, & so much more civilised than a ‘blog’ as he’d concur. Apologies to the editor, for the length, but I earnestly assure there is nothing to be concerned with in this response & recounting.
AH, Angel Heart Andrew is totally alive & active, just not in flesh form. In his inimitable style he quips ‘I’m alive & kicking – metaphorically speaking” !
Dear James, I am glad you made a self diagnosis, I have too, & it maybe the case that “most of us are somewhere on the spectrum”, but that is to be celebrated, as you would not want to be “cognitive a-typical”! The future is in artism! And beyond that in the metaphysical recognition that the ‘self’ is a myth, & thus requires no “validation”. So, before moving onto Sir Andrew, it’s probably not so good a thing to lay claim to having a monopoly on exclusivity of intimacy with him, but I dare say he is touched by it, & smiling.
I know you & Andrew had an intimate & intense relationship, that I sense few men of your generation were blessed to experience. It was wonderful to read your reflections. He spoke with me about your relationship several times over the years, & I’m sure with Michelle, Lil, & no doubt others too. It was at a formative time & had a lasting impact on him.
He was emphatic that men (dare we say “all men”?! ) could not be trusted with other men’s women. He said he could trust many men with his life, but not with his woman. I challenged him, but over time I observed, & understood his conviction, coupled with the universal projection of distrust (in the human psyche) that draws ‘trust issues’ or ‘distrust’ into most lives. Loyalty to the king was priority, or if thou hast committed treason, excommunication & in another life – off with your head! He had mercury in leo, & venus conjunct pluto in leo.
I had wonderful visions of the two of you living youthful passion – listening to old time music, reading, reciting poetry, cooking, camping, canoeing together. A celebration of life that exceeded & eclipsed the academic, though you could’ve done those degrees standing on your ears if they had so persuaded you. Blessedly, & rightfully, the fairer sex are of a much greater persuasion. Andrew did finally complete a major in linguistics & politics (maybe because you were no longer around to merry make together?!), & I dare say he fulfilled ‘the academic’ as the ‘schoolmaster’ in “It’s Academic”! It’s not serving to have the intellect over developed & Andrew’s was pretty rigorous, but blessedly mellowed with maturity. Talk about a grammarian, pedantic, didactic linguist, save me!
The Sydney University girls likely became more sophisticated as time rolled on. Maybe it was the English singer who was in his life when you were young men together? I did meet his first love of 6 years at his funeral & she said he obsessively kept an eye on her for a long time after they parted. Quintessentially obsessive. He was enamoured that Andrew meant “manly”.
Tennyson definitely his favourite poet &
Locksley Hall his favourite poem. His favourite piece of music – Spanish guitar Concerto de Aranjeuz (sp). There were 3 movies he felt best depicted romantic-erotic love of the obsessive kind of course, but I challenged him on them all. Too much unconvincing fakery out of Hollywood.
If you put up a rigorous point of view to Andrew he was really sexy about it, & acknowledged “you make a good point, but I’m not convinced”. Dialogue with him was a dance.
Post the first date with him I was utterly besotted, but came home & told my sister “I feel so much death around him”. Yet at this time he was playing squash 1-3 times, not per week, but per day! He was always the extremist. Burnt the candle at both ends his whole life, always doing, always working, always giving his all. “You can sleep when you are dead” was pinned for him.
In 1981 it was revealed to me he was Henry V111, & that night on radio he randomly played the song “Henry the Eighth I am I am”! As you alluded to, he was the incarnation of theatre. And music, language, philosophy, a whimsical type of Amadeus. When I later shared this Henry revelation with him (1996) he thought it was crazy, but many years later under the duress of intense karma, being framed, continuously getting & losing gigs (despite high ratings), he earnestly agreed with me, & I deflected it attempting to assuage the pain of the residual karma. “The past is gone”. In time I knew he wasn’t going to chop my head off! He was so earnest & once when despondent said “all my ego has been kicked out of me” I felt it was true. By the end he had been emptied, surrendered, spent, & spiritually redeemed. Days before his body gave up he said to our 10 year old daughter on the steps at Vaucluse, “All I want is …” not to be repeated here, but just to say, in dropping the body, his wish was granted.
He was so free he would sing loudly in the supermarket! AH! Angel Heart.
His sister Cynthia & me agree he was definitely bi-polar, & irascible at times (not helped by all the cane sugar in the coffees). He burnt the candle at both ends his whole life. Paradoxically, he was also very stable & earthy. I feel Horace was a model of this & apparently he never complained. His intense will (born with sun conjunct new moon in virgo) was reflected in Ena. Now there was a devoted son if ever there was one.
He considered himself quixotic.
He felt he missed his calling – treading the boards, as his stage performing was relatively brief. He had so many strings to his bow (mars in gemini), a beautiful singing voice, he would launch into Mozart operas, Christmas carols, old romantic tunes, anywhere, anytime.
When he did the radio, Forum, he didn’t perfunctorily cut people off. Real Except perhaps real nutters. He did serious journalism, went to war torn Burma, made a documentary, decades on radio, tv, scripting, advertising, comedy. Oodles of fundraising. He did reflect he would have been keen to pursue psychiatry or be a monk. Aside from the king within, he must have been a court jester, minstrel, poet, not forgetting a lothario. By the end he was exhausted. He had blazed through all his karma. He had given his all.
He was & is so sweet, so loving, so passionate, so sensitive, so romantic, so sexual, so witty, so reflective, so wonder full, so crazy, so serious, so gorgeous, so free. A complete human being. I feel so blessed to have had the time I did with him in this realm. So many sustaining memories. Forever grateful. He was really patient to persist with me. He radically changed me. Especially when his body gave out. When you love someone like that, when their body dies, part of you goes with them. He remains so present. He was & is a being of great love.
Andrew probably led me to your comment & reflection, & to the longer commentary & the recent reflections by James.
Perhaps you &/or James will return to read my responses some day.
I know Andrew had a very significant relationship with you.
Though he’s at peace he is a very active angel, & I sometimes feel how great it would be to have had the relationship I have with him now when he was in this realm. I continue to adore him. He is so sweet, loving, humorous, just as he was when here.
Andrew was my first lover. I met him in 1980 & it was a short, sharp, sweet romance. We married other people, but I don’t feel we ‘got over’ our connection or had ‘closure’, as is said. We reunited in June 1996 & in October 1997 his second daughter was born. I am her mother. He was a very devoted father.
Andrew’s younger daughter has the great heart, humour, intellect of her father & is pursuing the passion for acting he had.
Much love to you.