Dr Harry Cooper reflects on four decades on the air as he celebrates 80th birthday

Feb 22, 2024
Dr. Harry, who never envisioned himself on screens at 80, expressed gratitude for his enduring career. Source: Getty Images.

While many television personalities would likely splash out for their birthday, beloved television vet Dr. Harry Cooper opted for a more low-key affair to celebrate his recent 80th birthday

The iconic veterinarian, known for his warm demeanour and wealth of animal knowledge, marked the occasion with a quiet getaway with his wife, Susan.

Reflecting on his birthday celebration in a recent interview with The Sunday Times, Dr. Harry shared, “For my 70th, my wife organised two big events, but this time I told her I just wanted to go into town and stay at a nice hotel, have a couple of lovely meals and maybe see a show.”

“Normally when we go to Sydney, we have to set aside two or three hours so my wife can go shopping, but this time I said, ‘Let’s do something different; something a bit cultural, go somewhere where we’re not bothered by people, and we can just relax and enjoy ourselves,’” he added.

“For us, the break is having someone come in and look after the place for a few days, so we can get away and actually enjoy ourselves.”

Dr. Harry, who never envisioned himself on screens at 80, expressed gratitude for his enduring career.

“I don’t think I ever thought that far ahead,” he said.

“I just thought if you got to three score years and ten you were doing well.

“I never really thought that far beyond that.”

Despite this, he remains committed to his passion for animals and entertaining Australian audiences.

“I’m not ready to retire!” he recently explained to New Idea.

“And even then I’ll go find something else to do because I can’t ever imagine not doing something.”

Although Dr. Harry’s retirement plans are currently on hold, there is no denying that he has accomplished a great deal throughout his stellar career and his 80 years on earth.

Graduating with honours from Sydney University’s Faculty of Veterinary Science at just 21, Dr. Harry embarked on a remarkable journey.

Initially practicing veterinary medicine in Sydney and the UK, Dr. Harry’s charismatic personality and expertise led him to the world of media. He gained recognition as a veterinary segment contributor on a morning TV talk show before becoming the resident veterinary surgeon on the popular series Burke’s Backyard.

In 1993, he hosted his own series, Talk to the Animals, solidifying his reputation as a trusted voice in veterinary care. In 1997, he captivated audiences for six years with his renowned veterinary series, Harry’s Practice, which achieved consistently high ratings.

Despite the show’s cancellation in 2003, Dr. Harry’s passion remained undeterred. He continues to share his knowledge as a presenter on the esteemed lifestyle program, Better Homes and Gardens. In addition to his career in the media, he advocates for animal welfare, highlighting responsible pet ownership and compassionate care.


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