Leslie Bricusse, the man behind the music like Candyman and Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka, has died at the age of 90.
Leslie’s friend Dame Joan Collins described him as “one of the greatest songwriters of our time”.
Bricusse did an outstanding job writing songs, including Doctor Dolittle’s Speech to Animals.
He wrote these songs in Anthony Newley’s Bond Goldfinger song – and you live twice.
His other relationships with Newley, her ex-husband Dame Joan, include The Positive Impression, starring Nina Simone.
A representative from Bricusse announced the songwriter’s death “with a broken heart”, saying he died in his sleep on Tuesday morning.
Leslie has been married to actress Yvonne Romain for over 60 years.
Dame Joan said: “One of the composers of our time, the author Candyman, Goldfinger among many other songs, and my best friend Leslie Bricusse died today.
“He and his Evie have been beautiful in my life for over 50 years. I will miss him so much along with so many of his friends.”
Bricusse and Newley, born in Pinner, North West London, are in a fruitful relationship while writing for Stop the World I Want to Get in the 1971 film Willy Wonka from the Chocolate Company, based on Roald’s famous children’s book written by Dahl.
He has also written several other songs including Scrooge, Hook (with John Williams), and Goodbye Mr. Chips.
Bricusse has won two Oscars for his work. Talk to the Beast won the best song in 1968, and Victor / Victoria – co-writer of Henry Mancini – won the best score or first best movement in 1983.
He won a Grammy Award in 1963, which he shared with Newley, for the song What Kind of Stupid Am I? to the Earth I want to leave.
When asked in 2015 how he felt about winning the Academy Awards, he said, “The Oscars are beautiful.
“I have nothing but interest in them. I played well, I got ten nominations and two wins. So if you think you’ve won one in five, I’m up to it.”
Also in 2015, he performed a pure song concept show with Leslie Bricusse, an opera that showcases the catalog of over 1,000 songs.
The singer and the lead singer are said to insist that their music be used as a tradition, rather than as a song that suits the producer.
Bricusse describes himself in his book Pure Imagination: A Sorta-biography as “one of the most beautiful he has ever seen, perhaps after Ringo Starr”.
“It’s not a human story. It’s about something that has happened more than my entire life. It’s about other people like me. I remember what I remember!”
Bricusse says at the beginning of his first chapter that he will publish the title “like the petals of rose petals”.
The book is based on the story and quotes from some of his most famous friends, including Lady Julie Andrews, Sir Elton John, and Sir Michael Caine.