The composer, best known for composing the iconic James Bond theme tune for 1962’s Dr. No, has died aged 94.
Monty Norman is best known to the world as the composer of the James Bond theme. It’s become an instantly recognisable tune, an element that runs thr0ugh and connects the 24 James Bond films. Just hearing that familiar riff will remind you of the suave, sexy and incomparable 007, whether played by Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig or Sean Connery. And that’s all thanks to Monty Norman.
A statement was uploaded on his website, stating: “It is with sadness, we share the news that Monty Norman died on 11th July 2022 after a short illness.”
Norman hailed from the East End of London. He was the son of Latvian immigrants and was gifted a guitar for his 16th birthday, which kickstarted his love of music which would be his career.
Before working as a film composer, Norman worked in the West End and composed music for shows such as Irma La Douce. But his most iconic work came in 1962, when he was commissioned to write music for Dr. No, the very first James Bond film.
Norman also wrote Underneath the Mango Tree which plays over the infamous beach scene between Sean Connery and Ursula Andress. The James Bond franchise is well-known for its use of music, whether that’s the score or the iconic theme songs.
In 2001, Norman sued the New York Times over an article where they claimed that the Bond theme was composed by John Barry, who had only arranged it. Norman won his case and was awarded £30,000 in damages.
But it wasn’t just the Bond theme that would make Norman’s career. Norman also composed music for other films as well as West End shows, such as Songbook. Norman also appeared in several variety shows, including ones with Benny Hill and Peter Sellers.