John Barry

British composer and conductor (1933–2011)

John Barry Prendergast, OBE (3 November 1933 – 30 January 2011)[1][2] was an English composer and conductor of movie music.

John Barry
John Barry at the Royal Albert Hall, London, September 2006
John Barry at the Royal Albert Hall, London, September 2006
Background information
Birth nameJohn Barry Prendergast
Born(1933-11-03)3 November 1933
York, Yorkshire, England
Died30 January 2011(2011-01-30) (aged 77)
Oyster Bay, New York
GenresFilm score
Occupation(s)Composer, conductor
Years active1959–2006

He composed the soundtracks for 11 of the James Bond movies between 1963 and 1987, and also arranged and performed the "James Bond Theme" to the first movie in the series, 1962's Dr. No. He wrote the scores to the award winning films Midnight Cowboy, Dances with Wolves and Out of Africa, in a career spanning over 50 years. In 1999 he was appointed OBE for services to music.

Barry was born on 3 November 1933 in York, Yorkshire, England. He studied at St Peter's School, York.

Barry was married four times. His first three marriages, to Barbara Pickard (1959–63), Jane Birkin (1965–68), and Jane Sidey (1969–78) all ended in divorce.[3] He was married to Laurie from 1978[3] until his death. The couple had a son, Jonpatrick. Barry had three daughters, Suzanne (Susie) with his first wife, Barbara, Kate with his second wife, Jane, and Sian from a relationship with Ulla Larson between the first two marriages.

Barry died of a heart attack on 30 January 2011 at his Oyster Bay home, aged 77.[4][5] He is survived by Laurie, his wife of 33 years, and by his four children and five grandchildren.



Barry stated composers like Alfred Newman, Elmer Bernstein, Henry Mancini, Franz Waxman, Max Steiner, Stan Kenton, Duane Eddy, Chet Baker, Duke Ellington, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Dimitri Tiomkin, Gil Evans, Nino Rota, Count Basie and Bernard Herrmann as influences.


  1. The Sunday Times Magazine, The Sunday Times, 18 December 2011, page 64
  2. "'James Bond Theme' composer John Barry dies of heart attack". One India. 1 February 2010. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "John Barry". The Daily Telegraph. London. 31 January 2010.. WebCitation archive.
  4. Burlingame, Jon. "John Barry Dies at 77", Variety, 31 January 2011..
  5. Lovece, Frank. "John Barry, Oscar-winning Composer, Dies", Newsday, 31 January 2011

Other websites


  Media related to John Barry (composer) at Wikimedia Commons