(June 2, 1944–August 6, 2012): Three-time Academy Award–winning American film composer who created the fanciful music of The Spy Who Loved Me, for which he received two Academy Award nominations, for Best Song (“Nobody Does It Better,” shared with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager) and Best Score. Hamlisch’s music perfectly sets up the incredible pre-credits teaser—the famous Asgard Jump, in which James Bond (Roger Moore) skis off a Swiss mountaintop and parachutes to safety. Hamlisch’s music for the chase sequence that featured the Lotus Esprit submarine car was also excellent.
A New York City native who, at seven, became the youngest student ever admitted to the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, Hamlisch received his first composing credit on The Swimmer (1968). He earned his three Oscars for the title song (with lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman) and score for The Way We Were (1973) and his adapted score for The Sting (1973). Hamlisch was also nominated for seven other Oscars: Kotch (1971), Best Original Song (“Life Is What You Make It,” with lyricist Johnny Mercer); Same Time, Next Year (1978), Best Original Song (“The Last Time I Felt Like This,” with lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman); Ice Castles (1978), Best Original Song (“Through the Eyes of Love,” with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager); Sophie’s Choice (1982), Best Original Score; A Chorus Line (1985), Best Original Song (“Surprise, Surprise,” with lyricist Edward Kleban); Shirley Valentine (1989), Best Song (“The Girl Who Used to Be Me,” with lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman); and The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), Best Original Song (“I Finally Found Someone,” with Barbra Streisand, Bryan Adams, and Robert “Mutt” Lange).