Willy Wonka Songwriter Leslie Bricusse Dead at 90, Joan Collins Pays Tribute

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Leslie Bricusse, the two-time Academy Award-winning songwriter and lyricist, has died.

© Provided by People Gary Gershoff/WireImage

The Hollywood veteran, whose credits include Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Doctor Dolittle, was 90 years old.

Bricusse’s death was announced via Instagram on Tuesday by his son, Adam, who shared a gallery of photos of his father. A cause of death was not revealed.

“My Dearest Father, passed away peacefully this morning…. Please raise a glass for him,” Adam wrote alongside the photos.

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The younger Bricusse also included lyrics from the famous 1964 song “Feeling Good,” which was penned by his father: “Sleep in peace when the day is done … And I’m feeling good.”

© Gary Gershoff/WireImage The two-time Academy Award winner was behind classics such as “Feeling Good” and James Bond theme songs “Goldfinger” and “You Only Live Twice”

Over the years, the song has been covered by numerous artists, including Nina Simone, George Michael and Michael Bublé.

Actress and author Joan Collins also paid tribute to Bricusse by sharing a message on her Facebook account. Collins, a close friend of Bricusse, was previously married to his songwriting partner, Anthony Newley.

“One the giant songwriters of our time, writer of #candyman #goldfinger amongst so many other hits, and my great friend Leslie Bricusse has sadly died today,” wrote Collins. “He and his beautiful Evie have been in my life for over 50 years. I will miss him terribly, as will his many friends.”

Among his many credits and collaborations, Bricusse wrote or co-wrote classic songs, including the 1964 Shirley Bassey hit “Goldfinger,” as well as two Sammy Davis Jr. songs: “The Candy Man” from 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and “What Kind Of Fool Am I?” from 1961’s Broadway musical Stop the World – I Want to Get Off.

Bricusse, a nine-time Oscar nominee, won his first Academy Award for 1967’s “Talk to the Animals” from Doctor Dolittle starring Rex Harrison. He took home his second for co-writing the score to 1982’s Victor/Victoria alongside Henry Mancini.

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Bricuss’s most recent Oscar nomination came in 1992 for the Steven Spielberg film Hook, for which he was nominated with composer John Williams for the song “When You’re Alone.”

Other song and writing credits over Bricusse’s 45-year career include Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) and Beyond the Rainbow (1978), along with two songs for the James Bond franchise, “Goldfinger” and 1967’s “You Only Live Twice,” sung by Nancy Sinatra.

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He also contributed to various film and stage productions as a screenwriter and book writer, including the film Scrooge in 1970 and the TV movie Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical in 2001.

In addition to his son Adam, Bricusse is survived by his wife, British film actress Yvonne “Evie” Romain.

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