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Leslie Bricusse Biography

Leslie Bricusse

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Born: 1931. Living in: England

Bricusse was educated at University College School in London and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge University, he was Secretary of Footlights between 1952 and 1953 and Footlights President during the following year.(1) He currently lives in California in the United States, and he is married to actress Yvonne Romain.(citation needed)They have a son, Adam, born 4 April 1964.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Bricusse enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Anthony Newley. They wrote the musical Stop the World - I Want to Get Off (1961) which was successful in London and on Broadway, and was made into a (poorly received) film version in 1966. Also in collaboration with Newley, Bricusse wrote The Roar of the Greasepaint-the Smell of the Crowd (1965) and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), based on the children's book by Roald Dahl, and for which they received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song Score. When he collaborated with Newley, the two men referred to themselves as the team of "Brickman and Newburg", with "Newburg" concentrating mainly on the music and "Brickman" on the lyrics. Ian Fraser often did their arrangements.

Working solely as a lyricist, he collaborated with composer Cyril Ornadel on Pickwick (1963), based on Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers, a successful vehicle for Harry Secombe. Later collaborators included Henry Mancini (Victor Victoria in 1982) and John Williams (Hook in 1991). As composer and lyricist he scored the notorious box office film flop, Doctor Dolittle (1967), for which he received an Academy Award for Best Original Song ("Talk to the Animals"), and the less-successful Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969).

Sammy Davis, Jr. had hits with two of Bricusse's songs, "What Kind of Fool Am I?" (from Stop the World - I Want to Get Off) and the No. 1 hit "The Candy Man" (from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory).(2) Other recording artists who have had popular success with his songs include Nina Simone ("Feeling Good"), Matt Monro and Frank Sinatra ("My Kind of Girl"), Shirley Bassey ("Goldfinger"), Harry Secombe ("If I Ruled the World"), Nancy Sinatra ("You Only Live Twice"), The Turtles ("A Guide for the Married Man"), Maureen McGovern ("Can You Read My Mind"), and Diana Krall ("When I Look in Your Eyes").(3) Bricusse partnered with George Tipton to write the opening theme of the US television series It's a Living.

Awards
1963 - Grammy Winner - Song Of The Year - What Kind of Fool Am I?