Monty Norman, the man who composed the James Bond theme, has died

James Bond theme composer Monty Norman credit:Bang Showbiz
James Bond theme composer Monty Norman credit:Bang Showbiz

James Bond theme composer Monty Norman has died at the age of 94.

The musician and lyricist passed away on July 11 after losing his battle with a "short illness"

A statement on his official website read: "It is with sadness we share the news that Monty Norman died on 11th July 2022 after a short illness."

Norman was raised in the East End of London by his Jewish Latvian immigrant parents, Abraham and Annie Noserovitch, and his passion for music was sparked when his mother bought him his first guitar at the age of 16.

He went on to serve in the Royal Air Force and during his time in the RAF he discovered a passion for singing.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Norman performed with big bands, including those for Cyril Stapleton, Stanley Black, Ted Heath and Nat Temple, before going on to compose for West End shows like Expresso Bongo and Irma La Douce and pen songs for Sir Cliff Richard, Tommy Steele, Count Basie and Bob Hope, before turning his attention to movies.

Norman was approached by Bond producer Cubby Broccoli to write the score to the first 007 film 'Dr. No', which hit cinemas in 1962 and starred the late Sir Sean Connery as Ian Fleming's suave spy.

His theme song became synonymous with the franchise, although the producers were not happy with Norman’s original arrangement and drafted in a young John Barry to rearrange the piece.

Barry - who died in January 2011 at the age of 77 - went on to compose the scores for 11 of the Bond films between 1963 and 1987.

Barry did claim that he was responsible for creating the theme, prompting Norman to bring libel action against two publications for repeating this claim, and he won both.

Norman collected hundreds of thousand of dollars in royalties between 1976 and 1999 for the use of the theme.