Oscar-Winning Composer John Barry Dead at 77

Posted by at 2:53 pm on January 31, 2011

Five-time Oscar-winning composer John Barry, who wrote music for a dozen James Bond films, including “You Only Live Twice” and “Goldfinger” and developed the twanging guitar riff in the suave spy’s theme music, has died. He was 77.

Barry died in New York on Sunday, his family said. The family did not release the cause of death.

Though his work on the Bond films is among his most famous, the English-born composer wrote a long list of scores, including for “Midnight Cowboy,” “Dances with Wolves” and “Body Heat.” He was proud of writing both for big action blockbusters and smaller films.

He won two Oscars for “Born Free” in 1966, for best score and best song. He also earned statuettes for the scores to “The Lion in Winter” (1968), “Out of Africa” (1985) and “Dances with Wolves” (1990).
His association with Agent 007 began with “Dr. No” in 1962, although his contribution to that film was not credited and is in dispute.

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