Academy Award winning composer John Barry has passed away after suffering a fatal heart attack, aged 77. Born in York in 1933, Barry began performing as a musician during his National Service and formed The John Barry Seven before going on to work for the BBC on the likes of Juke Box Jury and Drumbeat. Barry made the step into motion pictures when he composed the soundtrack to the British youth drama Beat Girl (1960) starring Adam Faith and Christopher Lee, which became the first soundtrack album to be released on LP in the UK, and after working for EMI between 1959-1962 Barry was hired by the producers of Dr. No (1962) to rework a theme tune by Monty Norman, which led to the creation of the signature ‘James Bond Theme‘.
With Dr. No giving Barry his breakthrough, he went on to become one of film’s most recognised composers, scoring a further eleven Bond movies (From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, The Man With The Golden Gun, Moonraker, Octopussy, A View to a Kill and The Living Daylights), while his extensive work outside of the Bond franchise led to five Academy Award wins (two for Born Free, and one each for The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves). Barry’s other notable film credits include The Ipcress File, Midnight Cowboy, Mary, Queen of Scots, King Kong, The Deep, Body Heat, The Cotton Club, Howard the Duck, Peggy Sue Got Married, Chaplin, Indecent Proposal and Enigma.