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Barry, John (1933-2011)


Main image of Barry, John (1933-2011)

One of the most prolific and distinguished names in British (and international) cinema for his film music, John Barry (born John Barry Prendergast in York) had early experience with a military band. A rock'n'roll trumpeter, he formed the John Barry Seven group in the late 1950s.

His first film score was for Beat Girl (1960), and he found fame for his work on a dozen Bond adventures, beginning with Dr No (d. Terence Young, 1962), and for his Oscar-winning song and score for Born Free (d. James Hill, 1965). He won further Oscars for The Lion in Winter (d. Anthony Harvey, 1968), Out of Africa (US, d. Sydney Pollack, 1985) and Dances with Wolves (US, d. Kevin Costner, 1990), as well as garnering BAFTA and Golden Globe awards.

His credits summarise most of the main shifts in British cinema over the last several decades of the century, though since the early 1980s most of his work has been located elsewhere. He was formerly married to actress Jane Birkin, and was awarded the OBE in 1999.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Cinema

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of 'Beat' Girl (1959)'Beat' Girl (1959)

Cautionary tale about a respectable girl turned sleazy stripper

Thumbnail image of Boy and Bicycle (1965)Boy and Bicycle (1965)

Ridley Scott's first film as director: a day in the life of a schoolboy truant

Thumbnail image of From Russia With Love (1963)From Russia With Love (1963)

James Bond battles Russian dissidents for control of a vital decoding device

Thumbnail image of Ipcress File, The (1965)Ipcress File, The (1965)

Michael Caine's first outing as Len Deighton's secret agent Harry Palmer

Thumbnail image of Knack ...and How to Get It, The (1965)Knack ...and How to Get It, The (1965)

Archetypal Swinging London film which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

Thumbnail image of L-Shaped Room, The (1962)L-Shaped Room, The (1962)

Leslie Caron plays a pregnant Frenchwoman who starts an affair

Thumbnail image of Quiller Memorandum, The (1966)Quiller Memorandum, The (1966)

Berlin-set spy thriller about a neo-Nazi gang, scripted by Harold Pinter

Thumbnail image of Seance  On A Wet Afternoon (1964)Seance On A Wet Afternoon (1964)

Crime thriller about a medium and a disastrous publicity stunt

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Thumbnail image of James BondJames Bond

Legendary British secret agent 007, created by Ian Fleming

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