Monty Norman, James Bond theme composer, dies aged 94

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Composer Monty Norman arrives at the High court in London where he is involved in a libel action over a newspaper article which reported that he did not write the James Bond theme.
Composer Monty Norman arrives at the High court in London. (Press Association)

Monty Norman, the composer behind the iconic James Bond theme, has died aged 94.

The news was confirmed on the musician's official website with a brief statement which read: "It is with sadness we share the news that Monty Norman died on 11th July 2022 after a short illness."

Norman originally composed music for stage before moving into film with Dr No, the first James Bond production.

Read more: Next James Bond film will 'reinvent' 007 and is at least 'two years' away

Norman was asked to compose for the film by famed producer Cubby Broccoli who was impressed by his work in theatre.

(L-R) Composer Monty Norman and his fiancee, singer Diana Coupland
Composer Monty Norman and his fiancee, singer Diana Coupland. (Press Association)

His Bond theme was repurposed from an earlier composition he wrote for a production of A House For Mr Biswas. The original featured the iconic riff being played with a sitar instead of an electric guitar.

The theme has gone on to be used in every one of the 25 James Bond films.

Norman also wrote 'Underneath the Mango Tree' that accompanies the iconic Dr No beach scene featuring Sean Connery and Bond girl Ursula Andress.

It is a popular mistake that John Barry composed the James Bond theme due to Barry arranging the track. Norman successfully won a lawsuit against The Sunday Times after they claimed he had not composed the song's guitar line.

The James Bond theme has gone on to be covered by an array of artists including Moby, Hank Marvin and dance group Pendulum.

Daniel Craig in 'Casino Royale'. (MGM)
Daniel Craig in 'Casino Royale'. (MGM)

Norman was also known for his work on films and musicals such as Songbook, Poppy and Make Me An Offer.

He originally performed as a singer for a number of big bands including those led by Cyril Stapleton, Ted Heath and Nat Temple.

Norman also performed in a variety show with comedian Benny Hill and often appeared alongside Spike Milligan and Tony Hancock.

He would also write songs for Cliff Richard.

Watch below: James Bond to be 'reinvented' in next instalment.

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