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John Barry, James Bond Composer, Dies at 77

LONDON -- Legendary "James Bond" composer John Barry died in New York on Sunday at the age of 77 after a heart attack, his family said in an announcement.

Barry, originally from Yorkshire, England, penned some of the most iconic movie soundtracks of the last forty years, among them "Midnight Cowboy," "Dances With Wolves," "Out of Africa" and "Born Free," for which he won Oscars.

But he will be most remembered for his long relationship with the Bond franchise, where he was responsible for the soundtrack to 11 Bond movies including "Goldfinger"," From Russia With Love" and "You Only Live Twice."

He was one of the most respected film musicians in the world, winning a total of five Oscars and being awarded a BAFTA fellowship in 2005. He was also awarded an Order of the British Empire honor by the Queen in 1999 for his services to British music.

Barry grew up in the North of England, where his father was a cinema owner and his mother a classically trained pianist. His early career involved launching the John Barry Seven and later working for EMI.

A statement released by his family said: "It is with great sadness that the family of composer John Barry announce his passing on the 30th of January 2011 in New York."

His longtime friend and Bond collaborator David Arnold also posted a message on Twitter to Barry fans.

"I am profoundly saddened by the news but profoundly thankful for everything he did for music and for me personally."

The Hollywood Reporter 

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