Noel Harrison, Academy Award Winning Songwriter, Dies at 79
According to reports Noel Harrison, known well in Britain, Canada and the United, died at the age at seventy-nine on October 19th from a heart attack.
Born in London in 1934, Harrison lived with his mother's parents in Bude, North Cornwall, during World War II. At fifteen his mother took him out of private school to live in the Swiss Alps. Harrison never returned to school and began ski-racing. He joined the Ipswich repertory theatre group and taught himself guitar, but his main interest and most of his spare time was spent skiing. At an early age he was a member of the British ski team, becoming its first giant-slalom champion in 1953, and representing Great Britain at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway, and at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
His earlysinging break came when he took a regular part in the BBC Television programme, Tonight, as part of a team who sang the day's news in a calypso style.
When he was aged 20, he started playing professionally, around the tables in a Greek restaurant in London. He also made a living playing in bars and nightclubs all over Europe, including appearances at the Blue Angel Club, where one show was recorded for a live album.
When he moved to U.S, he performed in bars in New York and LA, before playing The track was "A Young Girl", written by Charles Aznavour. In 1966-1967, Harrison appeared as Mark Slate in The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., as the co-star of Stefanie Powers (April Dancer). As Mark Slate, Harrison also appeared once on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in a third-season episode titled "The Galatea Affair".
Two years later, he recorded "The Windmills of Your Mind", the theme tune from the film The Thomas Crown Affair, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1968.
During the 1970s, Harrison toured the United States in productions of Camelot and The Sound of Music. He also played Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, the part first performed by his father Rex Harrison, in the musical's original stage production and film version. Other touring roles included King Arthur in Camelot, Baron von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, Brian Runicles in No Sex Please, We're British and Lloyd Dallas in Noises Off.