The composer behind the iconic James Bond theme, 94-year-old Monty Norman, has passed away after a brief illness.
“It is with sadness we share the news that Monty Norman died on 11th July 2022 after a short illness,” a statement on his official website said.
Norman is most known for writing the score for the 1962 James Bond movie Dr. No and creating the instantly recognizable piece of music that became the franchise’s theme.
Norman, who was raised in the East End, began his career in the RAF, where he developed a love for singing.
He played in huge bands for artists including Cyril Stapleton, Stanley Black, Ted Heath, and Nat Temple in the 1950s and 1960s. Later, he and comedian Benny Hill traveled with a combined variety show, switching off as the headlining act depending on whether the local audience favored humor or music.
He later tried his hand at songwriting, writing lyrics for musicals like Make Me An Offer and Expresso Bongo as well as songs for Sir Cliff Richard, Tommy Steele, Count Basie, and Bob Hope.
Dr No, starring Sean Connery as Agent 007, was released in 1962, and it introduced the James Bond theme. The producers, however, weren’t pleased with Norman’s arrangement and asked a young John Barry to rework the song.