Leslie Bricusse

Active - 1956 - 2011  |   Born - Jan 29, 1931 in London, England  |   Genres - Musical, Comedy, Fantasy, Theater, Comedy Drama

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Cambridge-educated British writer / producer Leslie Bricusse has contributed to the screenplays of such films as Santa Claus (85), Home Alone (90) and Hook (91); still, he is better known for his extensive work as a song composer and lyricist. Bricusse has been responsible for theme songs of Goldfinger (64) and Sweet November (65), and has written the lyrics for such filmmusicals as Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (71). He won Oscars for the song "Talk to the Animals" (from Dr. Doolittle [67]) and for the lyrics to the tunes in Victor/Victoria (81). Leslie Bricusse has frequently worked in collaboration, most memorably with Anthony Newley on the Broadway successes Stop the World, I Want to Get Off (61) and The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd (65).

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Factsheet

  • Began writing songs when he served as president of the Footlights Revue Club while attending Cambridge. Coauthored with Anthony Newley the landmark musical Stop the World---I Want to Get Off, which premiered in London in 1961 and then on Broadway in 1962, where it ran for 555 performances. The hit song from the show, "What Kind of Fool Am I," won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. The two teamed again to write the songs "Candy Man" and "Pure Imagination" for the 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Wrote the screenplay and score for the movie musical Doctor Dolittle, also costarring Newley. Though a failure at the box office, his song "Talk to the Animals" won an Academy Award. In 1998, adapted the show for the London stage. Composed two James Bond themes: "Goldfinger" and "You Only Live Twice." Cowrote with Henry Mancini the Oscar-winning score for the musical Victor/Victoria, which was later adapted for Broadway. Has won the prestigious British music award, the Ivor Novello Award, eight times for film composition. Inducted into the American Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989.