The Tragic Death Of James Bond Composer Monty Norman

English singer and film composer Monty Norman has died, his family confirmed to BBC. He was 94. "It is with sadness we share the news that Monty Norman died on 11th July 2022 after a short illness," a statement on his website read. According to The Guardian, Norman first started his career as a singer for major bands in the 1950s and into the 1960s. During that time, he also found a passion for writing music and began doing so for musicals and films, like "Make Me an Offer" and "Wolf Mankowitz's Expresso Bongo."

"When I was 7 years old hearing a song called 'whickey whackey woo' played by my guitar-playing hero who lived downstairs was probably my first introduction to wanting be a musician," Norman said during an interview with Universal Exports. Norman ultimately worked on a handful of other musicals before he landed one of the biggest jobs of his career. 

Monty Norman created the theme for the entire James Bond franchise

Back in 1962, producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli approached Monty Norman with an offer that would ultimately change his life. Broccoli was amazed by Norman's work for the musical "Belle or The Ballad of Doctor Crippen," and asked him if he'd be interested in doing the score for his upcoming James Bond film "Dr. No," per Norman's official site. According to NME, Norman went on to create the James Bond theme ,which was interestingly inspired by a song the composer wrote a few years back titled "Good Sign, Bad Sign." In addition, Norman's theme for "Dr. No" was so well-received that the franchise ended up using it for every James Bond film. 

"We recognized we needed a fresh, contemporary sound for the main theme, and in the up-and-coming young John Barry we found a wonderful arranger, so the whole thing worked very well," Norman said (via Variety). 

According to The Guardian, Norman was married to actor Diana Coupland and together they share one child. After Coupland and Norman parted ways, he went on to marry Rina Caesari.