John Barry, Oscar-Winning Bond Composer, Has Died

John Barry

British composer John Barry, best-known for his iconic, jazzy James Bond soundtracks, has died in New York at age 77, BBC News reports. The cause of death was a heart attack. There are a handful of film composers who are household names — Bernard Hermann, Max Steiner, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman. John Barry is one of them.

His indelible arrangement of Monty Norman‘s James Bond theme opened the door for years of work on the series. He composed scores for 11 Bond films, including From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, and Diamonds Are Forever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLh8oDnWHHw

He received five Academy Awards, all for his work on non-007 films, including two for the 1966 classic Born Free. His compositions for The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa, and Dances with Wolves also reaped him Oscars. Other famed Barry scores include Zulu, Midnight Cowboy, and Somewhere in Time. Here’s a sampling of some of that work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSO3DEcyxPI

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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