Oscar-winning composer John Barry dies at 77

John Barry won five Academy Awards for his musical compositions but never contended for his most famous film work, the James Bond movie music. The Englishman died in his adopted hometown of New York on Sunday at age 77. No cause of death was announced by his family.

Though his contribution to the iconic theme for James Bond first heard in “Dr. No” was clouded by lawsuits, Barry went on to compose the score for a dozen films in the franchise. While none of these netted Oscar bids, they were a key part of the success of the series.

Barry did win the Best Score Oscar for “Born Free” (1966), “The Lion in Winter” (1968), “Out of Africa” (1985) and “Dances with Wolves” (1990) and Best Song for the title tune “Born Free.” He was also nominated for his scores to “Mary, Queen of Scots” in 1971 and “Chaplin” in 1992.

Barry’s score for “Dances with Wolves” won him a Grammy as well. And his score for “The Lion in Winter” also earned him a BAFTA. The British academy also bestowed a fellowship — their equivalent of a lifetime achievement prize — on Barry in 2005.

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