Oscar-Winning Composer John Barry Dead at 77
One of the greatest film composers, John Barry has passed. It was revealed last night that the BAFTA and Oscar-winning composer died Saturday of a sudden heart attack in New York at the age of 77. He contributed a great many memorable cinema scores, and will forever be associated with the magnificent and exciting James Bond theme music.
While the Bond scores are representative of his work in so that they illustrate Barry’s unique talent for setting exactly the right mood, the composer also has an enormous reputation for delivering the musical goods in any number of film genres. For more than five decades, John Barry contributed intrinsically to the definition of the American film experience. In his career, he received a number of awards for his work, including five Academy Awards; two for Born Free, and one each for The Lion in Winter (also won a BAFTA), Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves (which also won a Grammy Award). The list of Barry movie soundtracks is as impressive as it is lengthy, including Midnight Cowboy, the remake of King Kong, The Deep, The Cotton Club, Chaplin, and Mercury Rising.
Barry was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1998, and in complement to his sizable collection of Oscars, he received the Frederick Loewe Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January of 1999. He was honored as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in July of 1999, and that same month he was honored by the British Music Industry Trusts. That same year saw the publication of two full-length biographies documenting the life of Barry–Sansom & Co.’s John Barry: A Life in Music by Geoff Leonard and others, and John Barry: A Sixties Theme by Eddi Fiegel. Barry.