While studying Law at Adelaide University and the University of New South Wales, Mark Holden made his name in the mid 1970s as the good-looking carnation-carrying pop star who sang hits like 'Never Gonna Fall In Love Again' and 'Last Romance'.
Mark was signed by EMI Australia, for whom he went on to record three albums.
Glenn A. Baker wrote about Mark in Billboard Magazine, 30 April 1988:
‘He enjoyed smash singles (‘Never Gonna Fall In Love Again,’ ‘Last Romance,’ ‘I Wanna Make You My Lady,’ ‘Reach Out For The One Who Loves You’ and ‘Hey My Love’); platinum albums; roles in television('The Young Doctors', 'Target') and two feature films ('Blue Fire Lady', 'Newsfront') - achieving an astonishing level of teenage adoration.’
Mark was the first pop star in the world to create 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 HRH The Prince of Wales at the Sydney Opera House. He hosted the infamous 'Silver Jubilee Countdown' amongst many other Countdown appearances and hosting.
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 Temptations 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, Donnie Osmond, Jose 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 has 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’ (‘A Star Looks Down 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 Holland.
Following the birth of their daughter, Katie, Mark and his wife Anna decided it was time to return to Australia where they believe Katie will have the best start in life.
In 1999, Mark performed his show 100 Years of Australian Music at the School Of Arts Café in Queanbeyan,.
It was also 1999 that saw the launch of his production, publishing and management company Marjac Productions, with his partner Jack Strom from ‘Red Faces’ on 'Hey, Hey It’s Saturday'.
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 travelled with Tex and is Mark's way of paying homage to them and the way they entertained Australians over many decades from the late 1800's on.
In 2001 he finally completed his law degree at Monash University and received an LLB.
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.
Also in 2002, Mark was honoured by 'This Is Your Life' on Channel 9.
In 2003, Mark was once again a household name, this time as a judge on the record-breaking 'Australian Idol' television show, which was the Ten Network's highest rating show ever. Mark 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.
He also began performing again; on 'The Panel’ in duet with Marcia Hines and acoustically in the show 'Idol and Idle' with his long time friend Ross Ryan. In Feb 2004 Mark performed with Marcia Hines at Twin Towns Resort. He also took on the guest starring role of Dr. Adam Gilmour on the ABC TV series of 'MDA', as well as a cameo appearance on 'Kath & Kim'.
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 early 2005 and was certified gold. A number of other successful singles were also released from the album.
Having been part of the highest rating television show in Australia for both 2003 and 2004, (the Australian Idol grand finals for those two years), Mark continued with the third series of Idol in 2005 and later in the year appeared as judge and mentor in the hugely successful 'X Factor' (along with fellow judges John Reid and Kate Cebrano). He went on to launch the career of Random, the winners of the X Factor series.
In 2006 Mark divested his interest in his management company to concentrate on other areas of the recording and television industries.
In 2007 he appeared in cameo acting roles on NBC's 'The Starter Wife' with Debra Messing and as an Immigration Detention Officer on SBS's Fat Pizza . He also branched into radio and has appeared regularly as co-host with Lindy Burns on 774 ABC Melbourne.
And alongside fellow Idol judge Dicko and ex Big Brother and radio personality Chrissie Swan, hosted The Dicko, Holden and Chrissie Show on the NOVA network, as well as co-hosting Nova Drive with Cal Wilson for a month, and as Xmas afternoon fill-in on Adelaide's 5AA.
At the end of 2007 and up to the end of April 2008 Mark starred as Lee Gordon in Shout The Musical in Melbourne and Sydney garnering great reviews . In 2008 Mark also announced he would not be returning to Australian Idol .Mark regularly appears at corporate functions as an MC including for the likes of Macquarie Bank and the Make-A-Wish Foundation amongst many others.
In 2009 he completed his legal articles at Leo Cussens Institute then undertook the Bar Readers Course. He signed the Victorian Bar Roll in November of that year and is now practicing as a barrister.
In 2010 he had a scare with cancer but has bounced back as an Ambassador for Blue-September and mens’ cancer awareness , The Song Room and the South Australia’s Ice Factor Program to help kids at risk . In late 2010 and early 2011 Mark continued practicing as a barrister while finding time for regular fill-in duties on ABC Radio nationally and a guest starring role as an alcoholic doctor on season 5 of Sea Patrol [ a full circle from the Young Doctors ]. In 2011 Mark became an Ambassador for Orana Incorporate who support people with disabilities throughout South Australia.