Sunday, May 26, 2024

RIP Leslie Briscusse, Age 90, Composer of Great Songs for Films Including “Goldfinger,” “Pure Imagination,” and “Talk to the Animals”


Leslie Briscusse co-wrote so many famous songs from movies, Oscar winners, nominees, chart hits and so on. He died on Tuesday at age 90.

His most famous pairing was with Anthony Newley (who was also married to Joan Collins for quite a while), but he wrote with others as well. They wrote several hit Broadway shows including “Stop the World I Want to Get Off” featuring the perennial “What Kind of Fool Am I?” That song won a Grammy in 1963. In 1968 he won an Oscar for “Talk to the Animals” from “Dr. Dolittle.”

Two of James Bond’s greatest hits, “Goldfinger” and “You Only Live Twice,” were his. So were the two famous songs from “Willy Wonka.” Both “Pure Imagination” and “Candy Man” were written by Briscusse.

Briscusse wrote several hits with the legendary Henry Mancini including “Le Jazz Hot” from “Victor/Victoria” in 1982. Briscusse had 8 Tony nominations and 5 Oscar nominations.

That we’re all still singing his songs, at least humming them, all the time, is a great legacy.

Here’s one of my faves of all time, one of the top 5 Bong songs:

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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