Don Black started out as a stand-up comedian and blames himself entirely for the death of Variety. He made his West End debut as lyricist with composer John Barry on the musical Billy, starring Michael Crawford (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).
Theatre: Most recently, together with Christopher Hampton, the book and lyrics on a musical version of Dracula scheduled to open later this year on Broadway; three collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber notably the book and lyrics for the award-winning Sunset Boulevard (with Christopher Hampton); Tell Me On A Sunday – developed to form the basis for Song and Dance – and Aspects of Love (with Charles Hart). Don Black also wrote the love duet “Next Time You Fall In Love” for the re-vamped Starlight Express.
Film: Over one hundred songs for films including The Italian Job, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, True Grit, Dances With Wolves, Out of Africa and a quintet of ‘James Bond’ theme songs – “Thunderball”, “Diamonds Are Forever”, “The Man With The Golden Gun”, “Surrender” from Tomorrow Never Dies and “The World Is Not Enough”. Other credits include Michael Jackson’s “Ben” and Lulu’s “To Sir With Love” (both US number one hits).
Recording: Don Black has worked with some of the world’s leading contemporary composers including, Jule Styne, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones, Elmer Bernstein, Michel Legrand, Marvin Hamlisch, and Charles Aznavour.
Awards: Don Black has enjoyed a career with many glittering prizes including an Oscar (for his song “Born Free”), five Academy award nominations, three Tony nominations and two Tony awards (for best book and best lyrics for his work on Sunset Boulevard), five Ivor Novello awards, a Golden Globe and many platinum, gold and silver discs.
Future Projects: Currently adapting the French musical Romeo & Juliet scheduled to open in London at the end of 2002.
Don was recently awarded an OBE in HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours list.