Noel Harrison Dead: Singer and Actor Was 79

Noel Harrison

British actor and musician Noel Harrison, who sang the Oscar-winning ballad “The Windmills of Your Mind,” has died at 79.

Harrison’s wife, Lori Chapman, said Tuesday that he suffered a heart attack after a performance on Saturday in Devon, southwest England, and died in a hospital.

The son of actor Rex Harrison, Noel Harrison was a British champion skier and represented the country at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics before becoming a professional musician.

He moved to the United States during the 1960s’ British invasion and had his greatest success with “The Windmills of Your Mind,” which was the theme to 1968 heist movie “The Thomas Crown Affair” and won the best song Oscar.

Harrison wrote on his website that did not immediately realize the power of the song, by French composer Michel Legrand and American lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

“I went to the studio one afternoon and sang it and pretty much forgot about it,” he wrote.

Harrison also appeared opposite Stefanie Powers in the 1966-67 TV series, “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.”

He lived in Canada for many years but returned to Britain in the 1990s. He was married three times, and is survived by his wife, several children and grandchildren.

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    1. Nina says:

      To Lori and the families who all love Noel:
      It was my privilege to call Noel teacher, mentor, colleague and friend. He lived life on his terms and in that found the gamut of experiences that make for a full and wonderful life. I enjoyed the magic of creating live theatre together along with with many others. Peace, prayers and hugs all around.

    2. Dear Mrs. Harrison & family, My family and I extend our deepest sympathies at the sudden loss of dear Noel who entertained us for decades, I feel so privileged as, just a few months back, as a stranger and for the very first time, I wrote to Noel by email and he responded most courteously. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with you all at this terribly sad time.

    3. Patti Dean says:

      Mrs. Harrison,
      I would like to extend to you & your family my deepest sympathies for your loss. Far too young; much too soon.
      Noel was certainly muti-talented, coming from such an esteemed acting family himself. This must be a huge loss for all of Britain as well as the rest of the world.
      I looked forward to watching him every week on “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.”, in my youth. He alone inspired lots of young ladies to turn on the “telly”, I’m certain of it!
      His music was always on the radio as well.
      Please know that you are all in my thoughts & prayers.

      Kind regards from a fan,
      Patti from Southern California

    4. Tony Lampert says:

      I loved your record Windmills of Your Mind which brings back nice memories of the sixties, thanks Noel, RIP

    5. evelyn says:

      R.I.P.

    6. Liberty says:

      Goodbye, handsome.

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