Leslie Bricusse, the composer behind iconic songs from films such as Willy Wonka and Goldfinger, has died aged 90.
As per BBC, Bricusse’s agent confirmed the news “with a breaking heart”, revealing that he died in his sleep on the morning of Tuesday, October 19th.
In the 60’s and 70’s, Bricusse formed a strong partnership with fellow songwriter Anthony Newley. Together the pair had their most famous work with 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, earning them an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score.
Bricusse won two Oscars elsewhere for his other work. ‘Talk to the Animals’ from 1967’s Doctor Dolittle won Best Original Song, while Victor/Victoria (co-written with Henry Mancini) won Best Original Score/Adaptation in 1983.
He also won a Grammy in 1963 (shared with Newley) for ‘What Kind of Fool Am I?’ from the musical Stop the World – I Want to Get Off.
Bricusse also penned the lyrics to the classic James Bond song ‘Goldfinger’, from the Bond film of the same name, again with Newley. He also wrote the lyrics to another Bond song, ‘You Only Live Twice’.
A musical revue celebrating Bricusse’s legacy, Pure Imagination – The Songs of Leslie Bricusse, was held back in 2015.
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Tributes have already started for the late composer, notably from his longtime friend Dame Joan Collins. “One of the giant songwriters of our time, writer of #candyman #goldfinger amongst so many other hits, and my great friend Leslie Bricusse has sadly died today,” she wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of the two together.
“He and his beautiful Evie have been in my life for over 50 years. I will miss him terribly, as will his many friends.”