York & North Yorkshire

York plaque honour for John Barry, James Bond composer

John Barry awarded his Bafta Fellowship in 2005
Image caption John Barry was honoured by the blue plaque in the city of his birth

A memorial plaque has been unveiled for composer John Barry, famous for his work on the James Bond films, Born Free and Out of Africa.

Barry's renown will live on with a blue plaque outside his childhood home, now the York Pavilion Hotel in Fulford.

The composer, who died aged 77 in 2011, was born in the city and scored more then 90 films but may be best known for his work on a dozen James Bond films.

He received an OBE in 1999 for his services to music.

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Barry was given an honorary degree from the University of York in 2001, named an Honorary Freeman of the City of York a year later and was awarded a Bafta Fellowship in 2005.

Image copyright York Civic Trust
Image caption The York Civic Trust plaque joins more than 100 others in the city

His widow Laurie and son Jonpatrick Barry travelled from America to attended the plaque unveiling earlier.

David Fraser, of York Civic Trust, said of Barry: "His musical skill did not come out of nowhere, his mother was a concert pianist and his father originally ran a cinema showing silent films and his father often had film stars to visit.

"At St Peter's School in York he took lessons from the organist of York Minster, learning the building blocks of music and he worked very hard at his studies."

Barry was born in York in 1933.

Image caption Shirley Bassey performing Goldfinger

One of his best-known Bond theme songs was Goldfinger, originally belted out by Shirley Bassey in 1964.

He also won five Oscars for the films: Born Free, that earned him two statuettes, The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption John Barry won five Oscars for his work

Classic John Barry Scores include

  • From Russia With Love
  • Goldfinger
  • Zulu
  • Born Free
  • You Only Live Twice
  • The Lion in Winter
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • Diamonds are Forever
  • Out of Africa
  • Dances with Wolves
  • Chaplin

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