He made his movie debut in 1968, playing Richard the Lionheart in the Peter O’Toole/Katharine Hepburn vehicle The Lion in Winter, and big screen stardom soon followed. Subsequent films included When Eight Bells Toll (1971), A Bridge Too Far (1977), International Velvet (1978), Magic (also 1978), The Elephant Man (1980) and The Bounty (1984). He is, undeniably, a major international icon of stage and screen.
But following his turn as Captain Bligh in The Bounty,
he had a little misstep. Perhaps it was appearing opposite Mel ‘I’m not a
racist’ Gibson that did it. Something went wrong: film parts dried up, leaving
him to work mostly on television… And then this.
In December 1986, possibly in a feeble attempt at a Christmas hit, the Welsh acting legend issued his one and only single Distant Star, backed with Ordinary Man. Remarkably, it managed to reach number 75 on the UK singles chart.
The tracks were co-written by Jonathan Kermode, who had previously been a member of the soft rock/disco group Half Brother with former Wings drummer Henry Spinetti and Howard Goodall, best known to most of us I would assume for his stellar work on television and in film. The group gained its name as Goodall and Kermode are indeed half-brothers.
The lyrics to Distant Star were written by the late Jackie Trent, Mrs. Tony Hatch, who wrote for countless stars from Petula Clark (including the pop classic I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love) to Scott Walker, but will be best remembered for writing the lyrics to the theme from Neighbours.
But whatever he has or will achieve in his acting or composing career, nothing can ever compensate for the twin horrors that are Distant Star and Ordinary Man.
Download Star HERE
Download Man HERE