Noel Harrison (1934-2013)

Actor, musician and skier Noel Harrison died earlier this week at the age of 78, although I only read the news this morning. You can find an obituary at The New York Times.

I’ve been pretty vocal over the years about my love of The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., which Harrison co-starred in. Harrison played British U.N.C.L.E. agent Mark Slate, the suave partner to April Dancer (played by Stefanie Powers). The series was a spin-off of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and ran for a single season on NBC from 1966 to 1967. I’ve written an extensive article about the series which you can find here.

Noel Harrison as Mark Slate - Copyright © 1966, 1967 Turner Entertainment Co.

Noel Harrison as Mark Slate
Copyright © 1966, 1967 Turner Entertainment Co.

I must admit that what initially drew me to The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. was Stefanie Powers. As the star, she was the focus of most critical reaction to the series, most plots were built around her character, and she got to play with most of the outrageous gadgets. Harrison was often given little to do other than worry about April and/or rescue her. Still, he an integral part of the series, and the two played off one another well.

Powers sent the following Tweet remembering her co-star:

For anyone wanting to relive Harrison’s adventures on The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., the complete series can be purchased on DVD in two parts from the Warner Archive.

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2 Replies to “Noel Harrison (1934-2013)”

  1. The sad fact is, not many people remember Noel Harrison today, as “THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E.” lasted just one season….and he never really had a chance to prove himself in more “substantial” roles. It’s true- ask anyone who never saw “THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E.” who Noel Harrison was, and they’ll answer, “WHO?” (at least David McCallum will be remembered by THIS generation for being on “NCIS”) Apparently, if you don’t appear on a TV series that lasted more than 52 or 65 episodes, and is constantly repeated… might as well be “forgotten”.

  2. Noel Harrison also was the performer of the song that won the Oscar for Best Song in 1968, WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND, from THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR. He made history in a way because he followed his father, Rex Harrison, who had won the Best Song Oscar for 1967 for TALK WITH THE ANIMALS from DR. DOLITTLE.

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