The Avengers theme song composer Laurie Johnson dies, aged 96

Composer also provided memorable theme songs for ‘The Professionals’, ‘Animal Magic’ and ‘This is Your Life’

Inga Parkel
Monday 22 January 2024 16:43 GMT

Beloved British composer Laurie Johnson, who provided some of the most memorable theme songs for film and television, has died aged 96.

Johnson was perhaps best known for creating unforgettable tunes for classic British television, including the six-season series The Avengers, which ran from 1961 to 1969, The Professionals and Animal Magic.

He died in his sleep last Tuesday (16 January), his family confirmed in a statement to the BBC.

“Laurie’s music touched the lives of millions around the world. Throughout his illustrious career, he composed numerous iconic scores, themes and soundtracks that graced our lives across film, TV, theatre and radio,” they said.

“We remember Laurie as an extraordinary individual who embraced life with passion and brought joy to so many. His kindness, compassion and infectious sense of fun and laughter will be profoundly missed by all that knew him.”

They remembered him as “dearly loved by many” and “is sorely missed”.

Johnson is survived by his wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandson.

Born in Hampstead, England, in 1926, Johnson attended the Royal College of Music, where he was taught by several famous composers, including Herbert Howells and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

He first entered the UK singles charts in 1961 with “Sucu Sucu”, the theme music from the 1961 British spy series Top Secret. He remained a prolific theme song composer between the 1960s and 1980s.

Some of his film credits include Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove (1964), It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet (1976) and Tiger Bay (1959).

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