John Barry, the soundtrack composer famous for scoring 11 James Bond films and winning five Academy Awards, died yesterday of a heart attack. His first Oscars came in 1967 for Born Free, earning him best score and best song, followed by best score for The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves (for which he also won a Grammy). "He saw himself as much a dramatist as a composer and his music was inextricably linked to the stories told on the screen," said Barry's son-in-law to the BBC.
Born John Barry Prendergast, Barry formed the John Barry Seven in 1957, an influential early rock 'n' roll group. He began composing for films with the 1960 British movie Beat Girl, and quickly found himself in high demand. He arranged and orchestrated Monty Norman's "James Bond Theme" in Dr. No, then scored 11 of the next 14 Bond films. "I am profoundly saddened by the news but profoundly thankful for everything he did for music and for me personally," said current Bond film composer David Arnold.