RIP: John Barry

John Barry, an Oscar-nominated film composer, died yesterday.  He was 77.

The English-born composer won two Oscars, for the score and the song, for “Born Free” in 1966, and he earned single statuettes for “The Lion in Winter” (1968), “Out of Africa” (1985) and “Dances with Wolves” (1990). He was also nominated for his scores for “Mary, Queen of Scots” in 1971 and “Chaplin” in 1992.

But it was his work on a series of James Bond movies that he will perhaps be best remembered for.

Barry subsequently wrote music for “Goldfinger,” ”From Russia with Love,” ”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.”

Barry epitomized the notion of a movie score.  There were magisterial and elegant, evocative and emotive. When you closed your eyes and listened, it was often his music that elevated a movie to greatness.

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