Singer-actor Noel Harrison, son of Rex Harrison, is dead at 79

British actor-singer Noel Harrison, best known for his recording of the Oscar-winning ballad “The Windmills of Your Mind” and as secret agent Mark Slate in NBC’s 1960s TV series “The Girl from U.N.C.L.E,” died Saturday night at the age of 79.

Harrison suffered a heart attack at his home in Ashburton, Devon, in England after performing at the village of Black Dog in Devon.

His wife, Lori Chapman, told the Press Association, “He will be loved and missed by more people than I ever knew.”

The son of Rex Harrison and his first wife, Collette Thomas, Harrison was a member of the British ski team and competed in the 1952 and 1956 Winter Olympics. But he soon left the slopes and began playing guitar and singing at nightclubs and bars around Europe before coming to America in 1965.

In 1966, he was cast opposite Stefanie Powers in the lighthearted spy spoof “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E,” which lasted one season.

“My darling friend Noel Harrison passed last night,” Powers posted on Twitter. “Let us all light a candle to speed him on his way – he deserves to fly with the angels.”

His recording of “The Windmills of Your Mind,” which was used as the theme music from the 1968 film “The Thomas Crown Affair,” was a top 10 hit in England. He released several albums including “Collage” and “Santa Monica Pier.”

On his website, Harrison wrote that he didn’t like being a celebrity in Hollywood. “There are lots of perks, pretty women all over you, good tables at fancy restaurants … but my marriage was crumbling and I felt as if I was exposing my emotional and distressed state in a fishbowl.”

He moved to Canada in the early 1970s, toured the U.S. in his father’s big stage hits “My Fair Lady” and “Blithe Spirit,” and returned in the late 1990s to England, where he continued to perform and record.

“We’re living in south Devon now, in the west of England,” Harrison said on his site. “There are grown children from my first two marriages, and grandchildren. I’m writing and playing music and trying to figure out who I am, what I really think, if anything, and if it matters. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. Watch this space.”

More in Local News

Army nurse from Everett has vivid memories of ‘forgotten war’

Barbara Jean Nichols, 95, served near the front lines in Korea and Vietnam, and in Germany.

In county overdose crisis, nasal spray has saved 100 lives

About 900 local law enforcement officers have been trained to use naloxone to revive opioid users.

Second former student files abuse claim against teacher

The woman says Cascade High School’s Craig Verver had sexual contact with her on campus.

Man arrested after allegedly threatening people near EvCC

The community college was briefly on lockdown Thursday morning.

Edmonds to add bike lanes in two areas

Crews will begin the first phase of work Thursday and Friday, weather permitting.

Woman fatally shot at home near Everett

Another woman and three children, who were also in the home, were not injured.

Woman injured after losing control of her pickup

A 50-year-old woman was injured Tuesday after her pickup lost… Continue reading

Freshwater invertebrates found in local water bodies

Bryozoans are tiny invertebrates that live in jelly-like masses, and their presence is a good thing.

Front Porch

EVENTS Sk8 Fest returns to Arlington The Centennial Sk8 Festival celebrating longboards… Continue reading

Most Read