Bond films composer John Barry dies at 77

Composer John Barry, known for his work in the James Bond films, has died in New York of a heart attack at the age of 77.
 

Barry was also famous for his work on Born Free and Out of Africa, which saw him win five Oscars and a Bafta fellowship in 2005.

Born John Barry Prendergast in 1933, the York-born musician first found fame as leader of the John Barry Seven.

His arrangement of Monty Norman's James Bond theme led to him composing scores for 11 films in the series, amongst which are Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.

His most recent film score featured in the 2001 war thriller Enigma, while a musical version of Brighton Rock, created with lyricist Don Black, had its London premiere in 2004.

Barry was awarded an OBE in 1999 for his services to music. His work attracted a new audience when Robbie Williams featured music from You Only Live Twice on his 1998 hit single Millennium.

Current Bond film composer David Arnold paid tribute to his predecessor via Twitter.

"I am profoundly saddened by the news but profoundly thankful for everything he did for music and for me personally," he said.

Barry's son-in-law Simon Jack said he "truly loved writing music as much as people enjoyed listening to it".

"He saw himself as much a dramatist as a composer and his music was inextricably linked to the stories told on the screen." Jack also remembered him as "a wickedly funny man" whose "passion, genius and sense of humour will be terribly missed by his family and friends".

Barry's first Oscars came in 1967 for his Born Free score and its iconic title theme. He won more Academy Awards for soundtracks he composed for The Lion in winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves.

He also won four Grammys, a Bafta for The Lion in Winter and a Golden Globe for Out of Africa. In 2002 he was named an Honorary Freeman of the City of York.

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