‘The Windmills Of Your Mind’ singer Noel Harrison dies aged 79

The singer and actor lived most of his life in America before returning to the UK

Singer Noel Harrison has died aged 79.

He was best known for his hit single ‘The Windmills Of Your Mind’, which featured on the soundtrack to The Thomas Crown Affair and helped Harrison win an Oscar for best song in 1968. BBC News reports that Harrison died at his home in Devon.

‘The Windmills Of Your Mind’ has been covered by numerous artists in the past 45 years, with Dusty Springfield recording her own version as part of her 1969 album ‘Dusty In Memphis’. Other artists to cover the song over the years include Alison Moyet, Elaine Paige, Parenthetical Girls, Sharleen Spiteri and Barbra Streisand.

The son of the actor Rex Harrison, Noel Harrison lived in America for much of his life, splitting his career between music and acting. As a TV star he appeared in The Girl From UNCLE while also enjoying chart hits, including a cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’. He returned to Britain 10 years ago, living in South Devon with his wife.

Harrison was married three times and had children and grandchildren from his first two marriages. Later in his career he created Jacques Brel musical, ‘Adieu, Jacques’ in the 1980s and subsequently released an album of songs from the show in 2002. An appearance at Glastonbury Festival in 2011 came 40 years after he first performed live at the Worthy Farm festival.