‘James Bond’ and ‘Willy Wonka’ songwriter Leslie Bricusse dies aged 90

RIP

Songwriter Leslie Bricusse, best known for his work on Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and several James Bond themes, has died.

The musician, who won several Oscars for his work across film and theatre, passed away at the age of 90. The news was confirmed by his friend, actor Joan Collins, on Instagram.

“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,” Collins wrote last night (October 19).

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“He and his beautiful Evie have been in my life for over 50 years. I will miss him terribly, as will his many friends.”

Carole Bayer Sager also shared her condolences on Collins’ post, writing: “Soo very sad. A wonderful man, friend and a great songwriter. A good friend. condolences to Evie and family. May he RIP.”

Bricusse won his first Oscar for Best Original Song in 1968 for his work on Doctor Doolittle, followed by another win in 1982 for Best Adaptation and Original Song Score for Victor/Victoria.

The songwriter composed ‘Pure Imagination’ for Mel Stuart’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and wrote two James Bond themes, for Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.

Throughout his career, Bricusse often worked alongside Anthony Newley as his songwriting partner. The pair collaborated on Willy Wonka, as well as the musical The Roar of the Grease Paint – The Smell of the Crowd.

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For that project, they wrote ‘Feeling Good’ which went on to be recorded by Nina Simone for ‘I Put A Spell On You’ in 1965 before being covered by many other artists over the following decades.

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