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Monty Norman, Famed Composer Behind the “James Bond” Theme, Has Died

“James Bond” lovers are mourning the loss of Monty Norman, the British composer who wrote the theme tune for the beloved movie franchise.

Norman passed away on Monday, July 11th. His official website did not specify how he passed but did confirm that he died “after a short illness.”

The famed composer was born Monty Noserovitch in 1928 and began performing with big bands at age 16. He quickly gained popularity by performing with comedian Benny Hill and went on to write songs for British rock artists Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele.

Producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli hired him to create the theme for the first James Bond film, “Dr. No,” which debuted in 1962 and starred Sean Connery. Norman meticulously composed the tune with the recognizable rolling phrase, which first appeared as part of a medley during the film’s opening. This crucial piece was based on a song he wrote called “Good Sign, Bad Sign” for a musical version of VS Naipul’s “A House for Mr. Biswas.” John Barry composed a jazz arrangement for the film, leading viewers to mistake Barry as the composer. This led to Norman going on a years-long quest to receive his proper credit.

Norman was previously married to the late actress and singer Diana Coupland before she married her second husband in 1980. He is not known to have children.

He was 94.

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