Hometown: Stepney, East London
Death Cause: Illness
Age: 94 Years
|Birth name||Monty Noserovitch The Washington Post|
|Profession||Singer, Film Composer|
|Famous for||Composing the James Bond Theme for the first James Bond film Dr. No in 1962|
|Physical Stats & More|
Song: James Bond theme song (1962)
Film: The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• 1959: Evening Standard Award for ‘Best Musical’ for the musical Make Me An Offer
• 1961: Broadway’s Tony Award for best musical for the stage show Irma la Douce
• 1977: Ivor Novello Award for composing the James Bond Theme
• 1981: Broadway’s Tony Award for the best musical representation of the book The Moony Shapiro Songbook
• 1989: Gold Badge of Merit for Services to British Music from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA)
|Date of Birth||4 April 1928 (Wednesday)|
|Birthplace||Stepney, East London|
|Date of Death||11 July 2022|
|Place of Death||London|
|Age (at the time of death)||94 Years|
|Death Cause||Illness The Guardian|
|Hometown||Stepney, East London|
|Religion||Judaism The Times|
|Controversy||In 2001, Monty attracted controversy when he sued the Sunday Times for one of its article, where it stated that the James Bond theme was sung by John Barry. In the court, Monty stated that John had only rearranged the theme in 1962. In 2001, Monty won the case and was awarded 30,000 pounds by the court. The Guardian|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Married|
|Marriage Date||• First Marriage: Year, 1956
• Second Marriage: Year, 2000
|Wife/Spouse||• First Wife: Diana Coupland, Actress (m. 1956; div. 1975)
• Second Wife: Rina Caesari (m. 2000; till his death)
Daughter– Shoshana Kitchen
• Clea Griffin
• Livia Griffiths
Father– Abraham Noserovitch (cabinetmaker)
Mother– Annie (tailor)
|Siblings||He was the only child of his parents.|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Monty Norman
- Monty Norman was a British film composer and singer who was known for composing the James Bond Theme for the movie Dr No (1962), the first movie of the James Bond series. He died on 11 July 2022 due to illness.
- Monty’s parents were Jewish. His father along with Monty’s grandmother went to England from Latvia when he was a kid.
- Monty was young when World War II happened, due to which he had to leave London. He came back to London in the 1940s and joined RAF to provide national service.
- He was six years old when his mother bought him his first guitar whose cost had dropped from £17 (Rs. 1352) to £15 (Rs. 1193). In an interview, he said that he never threw his first guitar. He further said,
I’ve still got that guitar – a 1930s Gibson. I never use it, but I keep it as a talisman. My mother and father never understood the profession I went on to choose but, bless ’em, they were wonderful and just let me get on with it.”
Monty Norman with his guitar when he was young
- In an interview, he said that when he had to leave London because of the second world war, he started gaining interest in music because the children of the landlady would play popular songs in their house.
- Later, he took guitar lessons from the popular guitarist Bert Weedon.
- Before starting to sing professionally, Monty used to do radio broadcasts. In the 1950s, he accompanied big celebrities including Cyril Stapleton, Stanley Black, Ted Heath, and Nat Temple. He also performed with comedian Benny Hill.
Monty Norman during his teenage
- In the mid-1950s, he decided to write songs. He wrote his first song titled ‘False Hearted Lover’ which gained a lot of fame. In an interview, he talked about the change and said,
I had started to write songs and when one of them, False Hearted Lover, became reasonably successful I decided I would like to continue in that direction. My parents had misgivings but I was certain that was what I wanted to do.”
Monty Norman explaining a song written by him to the producers
- Later, he shifted from writing to composing songs. He composed songs for famous artists like Cliff Richard, Tommy Steele, Count Basie, and Bob Hope. He composed music for stage shows including Make Me an Offer, Expresso Bongo, Songbook and Poppy.
Poster of the book ‘Songbook’ on which Monty’s musical was based
- In an interview, he said that in 1962 he was performing on stage, producer Albert Cubby Broccoli was present in the show, and he liked his performance so much that he offered him to compose a theme for Dr No, a James Bond film starring Sean Connery. Monty further said that he was about to reject the offer because he was busy with other works, but Broccoli and his partner Harry Saltzman offered Monty a trip to Jamaica with his wife at the expense of the producers. In an interview, Monty talked about this and said,
Well, that was the clincher for me! I thought, even if Dr No turns out to be a stinker at least we’d have sun, sea and sand to show for it!”
Poster of the film Dr No, a James Bond film
- In another interview, Monty said that the James bond theme was a recreation of the musical theme Monty had made for the novel ‘A House for Mr Biswas.’ On his official website, Monty talked about the success of the theme and said,
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.”
Cover of the book ‘A House for Mr Biswas’
- He provided music for various movies including The Two Faces of Dr Jekyll (1960), The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961), Call Me Bwana (1963), and the TV miniseries Dickens of London (1976).
Poster of the film ‘The Day the Earth Caught Fire’
- On 11 July 2022, Monty died due to illness. His official website expressed grief on his death and wrote,
It is with sadness we share the news that Monty Norman died on 11th July 2022 after a short illness.”
- He followed Judaism and worshipped at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London.
- He was often spotted drinking alcohol on various occasions.
Monty Norman holding a glass of wine
|↑1||The Washington Post|
|↑2, ↑4||The Guardian|