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John Barry

Film composer

Died when: 77 years 88 days (926 months)
Star Sign: Scorpio

 

John Barry

John Barry Prendergast, (3 November 1933 – 30 January 2011) was an English composer and conductor of film music and films.He composed the scores for eleven of the James Bond films between 1963 and 1987, and also arranged and performed the "James Bond Theme" to the first film in the series, 1962's Dr.

No.He wrote the Grammy- and Academy Award-winning scores to the films Dances with Wolves and Out of Africa, as well as The Scarlet Letter, Chaplin, The Cotton Club, The Tamarind Seed, Mary, Queen of Scots, Game of Death, and the theme for the British television cult series The Persuaders!, in a career spanning over 50 years.

In 1999, he was appointed with an OBE for services to music.Born in York, Barry spent his early years working in cinemas owned by his father.

During his national service with the British Army in Cyprus, Barry began performing as a musician after learning to play the trumpet.

Upon completing his national service, he formed his own band in 1957, the John Barry Seven.He later developed an interest in composing and arranging music, making his début for television in 1958.

He came to the notice of the makers of the first James Bond film Dr.No, who were dissatisfied with a theme for James Bond given to them by Monty Norman.

Noel Rogers, the head of music at United Artists, approached Barry.This started a successful association between Barry and the Bond series that lasted for 25 years.

He received many awards for his work, including five Academy Awards: two for Born Free and one each for The Lion in Winter (for which he also won the first BAFTA Award for Best Film Music), Dances with Wolves and Out of Africa (both of which also won him Grammy Awards).

He also received ten Golden Globe Award nominations, winning once for Best Original Score for Out of Africa in 1986.Barry completed his last film score, Enigma, in 2001 and recorded the successful album Eternal Echoes the same year.

He then concentrated chiefly on live performances and co-wrote the music to the musical Brighton Rock in 2004 alongside Don Black.

In 2001, Barry became a Fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, and, in 2005, he was made a Fellow of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Barry was married four times and had four children.He moved to the United States in 1975 and lived there until his death in 2011.


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