Leslie Bricusse


Composer, Lyricist

About

Birth Place
London, England, GB
Born
January 29, 1931

Biography

A prolific songwriter, composer and lyricist, Leslie Bricusse broke into showbiz right out of Cambridge when Beatrice Lillie chose him to appear with her in her revue "An Evening with Beatrice Lillie" (1954). The London native had begun to write sketches and songs for Cambridge's famed Footlight Revues, eventually serving as the group's president in 1954. In his four-decade career, Bric...

Family & Companions

Yvonne Romain
Wife
Actor.

Notes

Made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in June 2001.

Bricusse has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards: Best Song ("Talk to the Animals"--for which he received the Oscar) and Best Original Score for "Doctor Dolittle" (1967); Best Score of a Musical Picture for "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1969, shared with John Williams); Best Original Song Score (with Ian Fraser and Herbert Spencer) and Best Song ("Thank You Very Much") for "Scrooge" (1970); Best Scoring for "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971); Best Song Score for "Victor/Victoria" (1982, with Henry Mancini--which they won); Best Song Score for "That's Life!" (1986, with Mancini); Best Song ("Somewhere in My Memory") from "Home Alone" (1990, with John Williams); and Best Song ("When You're Alone") from "Hook" (1991, with Williams).

Biography

A prolific songwriter, composer and lyricist, Leslie Bricusse broke into showbiz right out of Cambridge when Beatrice Lillie chose him to appear with her in her revue "An Evening with Beatrice Lillie" (1954). The London native had begun to write sketches and songs for Cambridge's famed Footlight Revues, eventually serving as the group's president in 1954.

In his four-decade career, Bricusse has collaborated with several prominent figures and has written or co-written many songs that have entered the popular consciousness. His first major partnership was with Anthony Newley. The pair created two well-received stage productions, "Stop the World--I Want to Get Off" (1961) and "The Roar of the Greasepaint--The Smell of the Crowd" (1965). The duo created such well-known songs as the Grammy-winning "What Kind of Fool Am I?," "Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)?," "The Candy Man" and the title song from the James Bond film "Goldfinger" (1964).

Solo, Bricusse earned the first of his ten Academy Award nominations for the score for "Doctor Dolittle," earning the statue for his bouncy patter song "Talk to the Animals." Two years later, he worked with John Williams on the musicalization of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" and since then, the pair have collaborated on a number of movie theme songs, including "Somewhere in My Memory" from "Home Alone" (1990) and "When You're Alone" from "Hook" (1991). Additionally, Bricusse enjoyed a fruitful pairing with the late Henry Mancini on several Blake Edwards' films, including "Victor/Victoria" (1982), for which they earned a Best Song Score Oscar. (They later supplemented the film's soundtrack with new numbers for the 1995 stage adaptation.)

In the last decade, Bricusse wrote an ill-fated musical about "Sherlock Holmes" (1989) and spent the better part of the time polishing a stage version of "Jekyll and Hyde." First begun in 1990, "Jekyll and Hyde" went through a number of incarnations, including a concept album, several stage productions, a second album and finally a touring production that opened on Broadway to mixed reviews but cheering audiences in 1997.

Bricusse has also co-written a handful of screenplays, including "Charley Moon" (1956) and "Bachelor of Hearts" (1958). The latter was co-scripted by his university chum Frederic Raphael.

Filmography

 

Writer (Feature Film)

Bullseye! (1990)
Screenplay
Sunday Lovers (1981)
Screenplay (English Segment)
Scrooge (1970)
Screenwriter
Doctor Dolittle (1967)
Screenwriter
Stop the World--I Want To Get Off (1966)
Screenwriter
The Swingin' Maiden (1963)
Screenwriter
Bachelor of Hearts (1962)
Screenwriter
Charley Moon (1956)
Screenwriter

Producer (Feature Film)

Scrooge (1970)
Executive Producer

Music (Feature Film)

Judy (2019)
Music
Judy (2019)
Music Lyrics
Tully (2018)
Song
Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (2017)
Song
Thor 3: Ragnarok (2017)
Song
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Song
Grudge Match (2013)
Song
Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)
Song
Sparkle (2012)
Song
Repo Men (2010)
Song
Trick 'r Treat (2009)
Song Performer
Seven Pounds (2008)
Song
Last Holiday (2006)
Song
War of the Worlds (2005)
Song
Little Black Book (2004)
Song
Beyond the Sea (2004)
Song
Bruce Almighty (2003)
Song
40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)
Song ("Talking 'Bout My Baby (Contains 'Macon Hambone Blues')")
Bully (2001)
Song
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Song
Vegas Vacation (1997)
Song
Point Of No Return (1993)
Song
Tom & Jerry: The Movie (1993)
Song
Blake Edwards' Son of the Pink Panther (1993)
Lyrics ("Clouseau'S Anthem")
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Song
Hook (1991)
Song
The Taking of Beverly Hills (1991)
Song
Home Alone (1990)
Theme Lyrics
The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
Song
Babes in Toyland (1986)
Music
That's Life! (1986)
Theme Lyrics
Babes in Toyland (1986)
Theme Lyrics
Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
Songs ("Thank You Santa" "Every Christmas Eve" "Making Toys" "Patch! Natch")
Victor/Victoria (1982)
Theme Lyrics
The Sea Wolves (1980)
Song
Hart to Hart (1979)
Theme Lyrics
Saint Jack (1979)
Song
Sammy Stops the World (1978)
Theme Lyrics
Superman:The Movie (1978)
Song
Sammy Stops the World (1978)
Music
Revenge of The Pink Panther (1978)
Song ("Move 'Em Out")
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Composer
Scrooge (1970)
Composer
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)
Composer
Salt & Pepper (1968)
Composer
Gunn (1967)
Composer
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Composer
A Guide for the Married Man (1967)
Composer
Doctor Dolittle (1967)
Composer
In Like Flint (1967)
Composer
Penelope (1966)
Composer
Stop the World--I Want To Get Off (1966)
Composer
Goldfinger (1964)
Composer
We Joined the Navy (1962)
Song
Charley Moon (1956)
Music

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Sammy Stops the World (1978)
Other

Cast (Special)

Intimate Portrait: Joan Collins (2003)
Julie Andrews: Back on Broadway (1995)
The Songwriters Hall of Fame 20th Anniversary... The Magic of Music (1989)
Performer

Writer (Special)

Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical (2001)
Book As Source Material
Stop the World, I Want to Get Off! (1996)
Writer

Music (Special)

Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical (2001)
Theme Lyrics
Roger Williams: Pop Goes the Ivories (1999)
Song
Monica Mancini... On Record (1998)
Lyrics ("Crazy World" "Two For The Road")
Stop the World, I Want to Get Off! (1996)
Songs
Julie Andrews: Back on Broadway (1995)
Theme Lyrics
The Songwriters Hall of Fame 20th Anniversary... The Magic of Music (1989)
Song
Santa Claus: The Making of the Movie (1987)
Song
In Trouble (1981)
Theme Song Performer ("In Trouble")
Peter Pan (1976)
Music

Special Thanks (Special)

Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical (2001)
Book As Source Material
Stop the World, I Want to Get Off! (1996)
Writer

Misc. Crew (Special)

Broadway '97: Launching the Tonys (1997)
Interviewee

Life Events

1952

First contribution to a Cambridge Footlights show, music and lyrics to "Tip and Run"; also appeared as actor

1954

Appeared in the revue "An Evening with Beatrice Lillie"

1956

First screen credit, co-writer of "Charley Moon"; also scored

1961

First stage collaboration with Anthony Newley, "Stop the World--I Want to Get Off"; wrote book and lyrics and composed music

1963

Wrote lyrics for the British musical "Pickwick", based on Dickens' "The Pickwick Papers"

1964

Wrote title song for "Goldfinger" with Newley

1965

Collaborated with Newley on "The Roar of the Greasepaint--The Smell of the Crowd"

1966

Adapted the score of "Stop the World..." for the film version

1967

Wrote score for the feature "Doctor Dolittle"; won first Oscar

1969

First screen collaboration with composer John Williams, the score for the musical version of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips"

1978

Third stage collaboration with Newley, "The Travelling Music Show"

1982

With Henry Mancini, wrote the song score for "Victor/Victoria"; won second Oscar

1989

Wrote book and score for the musical "Sherlock Holmes"

1990

Began working on a stage version of "Jekyll and Hyde"; wrote book and lyrics; music by Frank Wildhorn

1996

Final collaboration with Henry Mancini; score for the stage musical adaptation of "Victor/Victoria"

1997

"Jekyll and Hyde" opened on Broadway

1998

Wrote book and score for London stage version of "Dr. Dolittle"

Videos

Movie Clip

You Only Live Twice (1967) - Chinese Girls, Title Song Bond (Sean Connery) appears to be murdered at the hands of Ling (Tsai Chin), leading into Nancy Sinatra's rendering of the title song by Leslie Bricusse for You Only Live Twice, 1967.
Scrooge (1970) - Uncle Ebenezer! Nephew Harry (Michael Medwin) drops in on grouchy Uncle Ebenezer (Albert Finey) and downtrodden clerk Bob Cratchit (David Collings) in Leslie Bricusse's musical version of "A Christmas Carol," Scrooge, 1970.
Scrooge (1970) - I Hate People/Farver Christmas Two songs by Leslie Bricusse ("I Hate People" performed by Albert Finney and "Farver Christmas" by the ensemble) in this segment of Scrooge, the 1970 musical version of "A Christmas Carol."
Doctor Dolittle (1967) - My Friend The Doctor Much at ease carrying the opening scenes in fictional Puddleby, England, 1845, with William Dix as young Tommy, Anthony Newley as Matthew Mugg hops through a tune by his frequent collaborator Leslie Bricusse, also the screenwriter, in the box-office bomb Doctor Dolittle, 1967.
Doctor Dolittle (1967) - Talk To The Animals Just the title character (Rex Harrison) and his patients, in the second stanza of his signature song by Leslie Bricusse, in 20th Century-Fox's expensive, underperforming musical Doctor Dolittle, 1967.
Doctor Dolittle (1967) - Fox Protection Society Introducing the bloviating General Bellowes (Peter Bull) and his prepossessing but stuffy niece Emma (Samantha Eggar), assaulting the title character (Rex Harrison) and friends Matt (Anthony Newley) and Tommy (William Dix), in Doctor Dolittle, 1967, directed by Richard Fleischer.
Doctor Dolittle (1967) - The Vegetarian Rex Harrison as the title character, still doing some exposition, with friends Matt (Anthony Newley) and Tommy (William Dix), offering his first song, composed by Leslie Bricusse, in Doctor Dolittle, 1967, from the children's book series by Hugh Lofting.
Victor/Victoria (1982) - Le Jazz Hot Julie Andrews (title character) wows a 1930's Paris nightclub crowd (with "Le Jazz Hot" by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse) and pulls a big reveal, James Garner, Lesley Ann Warren, Alex Karras and Robert Preston among the admirers, in Blake Edwards' Victor/Victoria, 1982.
Victor/Victoria (1982) - Gay Paree Some would say the musical peak of the piece, in which the sublime Robert Preston (as Carroll "Toddy" Todd) performs "Gay Paree," by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse, in Paris ca. 1934, in Blake Edwards' Victor/Victoria, 1982.
Scrooge (1970) - Marley An affected and effected Alec Guinness appears before Scrooge (Albert Finney) as his deceased partner Jacob Marley in the 1970 British musical version of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Scrooge.
Scrooge (1970) - Christmas Children! Bob Cratchit (David Collings) meets his kids Tiny Tim (Richard Beaumont) and Kathy (Karen Scargill) and lights into Leslie Bricusse's tune "Christmas Children" in Scrooge, 1970.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) - London Is London Peter O'Toole as the title character with a former student (Michael Culver), who's brought him to see showgirl Katherine (Petula Clark), entering with a song by Leslie Bricusse, her first appearance in the 1969 musical version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1969, from the James Hilton novel.

Trailer

Companions

Yvonne Romain
Wife
Actor.

Bibliography

Notes

Made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in June 2001.

Bricusse has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards: Best Song ("Talk to the Animals"--for which he received the Oscar) and Best Original Score for "Doctor Dolittle" (1967); Best Score of a Musical Picture for "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1969, shared with John Williams); Best Original Song Score (with Ian Fraser and Herbert Spencer) and Best Song ("Thank You Very Much") for "Scrooge" (1970); Best Scoring for "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971); Best Song Score for "Victor/Victoria" (1982, with Henry Mancini--which they won); Best Song Score for "That's Life!" (1986, with Mancini); Best Song ("Somewhere in My Memory") from "Home Alone" (1990, with John Williams); and Best Song ("When You're Alone") from "Hook" (1991, with Williams).

He has received eight Ivor Novello Awards for film composition.