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© / Noel Harrison
'Windmills of Your Mind' singer Noel Harrison dies

LONDON (AP) -- British actor and musician Noel Harrison, who sang the Academy Award-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.

Bing: More on Noel Harrison

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 is survived by wife and by several children and grandchildren.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Oct 23, 2013 8:46AM
I was a big fan of the Girl from UNCLE when I was young - entirely due to his presence in the show.  I visited a pet store in Indio, CA (about 30 minutes from Palm Springs), and as I was leaving, HE walked in, and held the door for me as I left.  I beamed a young girl's star-crush smile and he smiled back.  "Oh my gosh", I thought, "and he's nice, too!"  Funny how something as simple and courteous as that, has remained in my memories some 46 years later.  May God receive you with open arms.
Oct 22, 2013 9:23AM

Man had a grand voice, and was a pretty good actor too. Another loss from the days when people actually knew how to entertain courtesy of the strength of their talent, without the need for all the distractions of today's "extravaganza" shows.


Thanks for the memories Noel. You were a class act. RIP!

Oct 22, 2013 9:10AM
i allways thought he was a relative of GEORGE HARRISON?? but i guess not
Oct 22, 2013 8:32AM
Get Smart and the malfunctioning "Dome of Silence".
Oct 22, 2013 8:22AM
who can ever forget him as the sexy partner of "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E."
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