Mark Holden (born 27 April 1954) is an Australian singer, actor, television personality and now barrister. He was one of a panel of three judges on the television series Australian Idol and the first series of The X-Factor.
Holden was a singer and film actor. He was an original cast member of soap opera The Young Doctors when it began in late 1976. Film roles included Blue Fire Lady and Newsfront. Holden was the first pop star in the world to originate the lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, in the first Australian production of the Webber and Rice musical.
He won three Logies and performed for the Prince of Wales at the Sydney Opera House. He hosted the infamous 'Silver Jubilee Countdown', amongst many other Countdown appearances and hostings. In 2007, he appeared in cameo acting roles on Kath & Kim, NBC's The Starter Wife with Debra Messing, and as an Immigration Detention Officer on SBS's Fat Pizza.
In late 2010, he guest starred as Doctor Wallace in Season 5 of Sea Patrol, which aired in July 2011 on Channel 9.
Mark was a pop singer in the 1970s, having hits with songs such as Never Gonna Fall in Love Again and making several appearances on the ABC's popular television series Countdown.
Relocating to Los Angeles in 1980 and as a songwriter, he had two Top Ten hits with the Temptations on Motown – 'Lady Soul' which is included on the 'Motown Greatest Hits 1972-92 Hitsville USA' CD Compilation and 'Look What You Started' which features on the definitive Tempations compilation 'The Emperors Of Soul' .
There were also hits with Tracie Spencer, Joey Lawrence, Will Downing, a #1 dance hit with Kathy Sledge, and over 50 cover recordings of his songs from artists as varied as Belinda Carlisle, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, The Manhattans, Donny Osmond, José Feliciano, Fleetwood Mac, David Hasselhoff and Branford Marsalis.
He also developed and produced artists including Calvin Klein model and film star Milla Jovovich ('Chaplin', 'Blue Lagoon 2', 'Dazed and Confused', 'The 5th Element'), for EMI Records Group, New York. This led to her debut album; a US Top Ten Post Modern hit, it won critical raves including a 3 star review in Rolling Stone magazine.
For three years Mark worked with David Hasselhoff, producing and coordinating his albums, live promotion and musical projects for television, particularly in Europe where David enjoyed multi-platinum successes including the Top Ten hit in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, 'Wir Zwei Allein Heut Nacht' ('Together alone tonight') which Mark wrote with David Hasselhoff.
Jeremy Jackson, the actor who played David Hasselhoff's son on Baywatch, was signed to Mark Holden's production company and had two hits in Europe including 'You Can Run' which was Top 5 in the Netherlands.
In 1999, Mark performed his show "100 Years of Australian Music" at the School of Arts Café in Queanbeyan.
Marjac Productions with Transistor Music Australia and Universal Music International launched Vanessa Amorosi onto the Australian and international stage with ARIA's #4 album of the year 2000 – 'The Power' – and four hit singles in Australia. "Absolutely Everybody" has been #7 in the UK, #2 in Ireland, Top Five Germany (Gold), Austria (Gold) and Switzerland; and Top Ten in many other European and Asian countries. Vanessa's album 'The Power' was gold in GSA with 4 hit singles.
Mark's family group, The Holdens, released their first CD, "A Tribute to Tex Morton". This features songs made famous by the legendary country singer and showman. Tex was very much in the tradition of his forebears The Holden Brothers Circus who traveled with Tex and is Mark's way of paying homage to them and the way they entertained Australians over many decades from the late 19th century on.
In 2000 MarJac Productions signed with Sony Australia to consult for the Delta Goodrem project which reached #1 in Australia and Top 5 UK. Meanwhile, his songs continue to be recorded by Vanessa Amorosi, Nikki Webster (Top 20 Gold single 'Best Days'), Delta Goodrem and Sophie Monk.
In 2004 Mark established Dream Dealers, his own Management, Music Publishing and Record Company. Dream Dealers immediately achieved success with first signing, Joel Turner and the Modern Day Poets. The first single "These Kids" reached #1 on the Aria charts, staying in the top ten for over three months in which time it achieved double platinum status. Their self-titled album was released in late 2004 and was certified platinum. A number of other successful singles were also released from the album.
In 2003, Holden was a judge on the Australian Idol television show. He executive-produced the 'Final 12' cast CD for Australian Idol which went double platinum and included the #1 song 'Rise Up' which he co-wrote with Vanessa Amorosi. His phrase "Touchdown" became the highest form of accolade for the contestants. Cosima De Vito received the first touchdown, for her rendition of Cold Chisel's When the War Is Over. When De Vito scored the first touchdown, Ian Dickson said that he could not help but think that De Vito had been sent by another television network as a spy because she was everything the competition was about.
Holden was awarded "Wanker of the Year" by men's magazine Ralph (magazine) in 2003, and in response, wanted a trophy to show off his new title. He started up a petition on his own website to have it awarded to him. He has mentioned it a few times on Idol, and Ralph has considered naming the award after him. In this year's awards however, he came third, beaten by fellow Network Ten celebrities Rove McManus and Australian Idol presenter Andrew G. The magazine claimed that his attempt to claim a trophy for his honour was enough for them not to give him the award.
He also appeared as a judge on The X Factor in 2005. (along with John Reid and Kate Ceberano). The R&B group he had been mentoring during the show, Random, went on to win.
In early 2008, Holden played the role of Johnny O'Keefe's manager Lee Gordon in Shout! The Legend of The Wild One.
Holden's radio career includes co-hosting The Drive Home with Cal Wilson while regular host Akmal Saleh was sick. He also hosted the short lived show in 2007, The Dicko, Holden and Chrissie Show on Nova FM.
He has also appeared regularly as co-host with Lindy Burns on 774 ABC Melbourne and has appeared on Melbourne radio 3AW as a fill in presenter. From 2010-2011 he was a fill-in presenter of the weekday afternoon show on South Australia's 891 ABC Adelaide, where his focus has been on musical discussion. In early 2011 he has been fill in presenter of ABC Local Radio nationally. Mark is one of the regular fill-ins for Richard Stubbs on 774 ABC Melbourne. In early 2012 he was fill-in presenter for the nationwide ABC Local network show "Nightlife with Tony Delroy."
He attended Westminster School in Adelaide, South Australia. He has a son named Cane and a daughter named Katie.
Holden graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University in 2001, having studied law at the University of Adelaide and the University of New South Wales in the early 1970s. In November 2009 he signed the Victorian Bar roll, reading with Barrister William Lye, and is now practising as a full-time barrister.
He has suffered several bone fractures as a direct result of Osteoporosis, and featured on an awareness ad on Channel 7.
While interviewing Dick Smith on ABC Local Radio on 12 January 2012 Mr Holden revealed that he decided to leave his long-time American home and return to Australia because of the inequities of life in the US. The tipping point for coming to this decision was reached when he witnessed a middle aged, middle class woman living in her station wagon, having lost her identity documents and having no access to any social service payments.
He is a long-time supporter of the Adelaide Football Club.
|1975||Never Gonna Fall in Love Again||13||EMI|
|1976||I Wanna Make You My Lady||11|
|1977||Hey, My Love||32|
|Reach Out for the One Who Loves You||17|
|Let's Go Dancing||-|
|1978||First Thing in the Morning||-|
|Who Do You Love||-||Polygram|