James Bond and Sunset Boulevard lyricist Don Black will be the recipient of the Special Award at the Olivier Awards 2020.
The accolade is awarded each year to recognise an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to theatre over the course of their career.
In his six decade career, Black has written the lyrics for many musical theatre productions including Tell Me On A Sunday, Aspects of Love, Whistle Down The Wind, Stephen Ward, Bombay Dreams, Frank Wildhorn’s Dracula, The Musical and the Tony Award winning Sunset Boulevard.
Alongside his theatre work, Black’s output includes numerous film and television themes including the James Bond films Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever and The Man With The Golden Gun. He won the 1966 Academy Award for Best Song for the title song on the film Born Free.
Kenny Wax, President of the Society of London Theatre, said:
‘The Society of London Theatre is delighted to honour Don Black with the Special Award, marking an extraordinary career encompassing many genres, but particularly musical theatre. Lyricists often do not receive the recognition they deserve, despite their words being known and loved by audiences worldwide – and having personally known Don for over 25 years, it makes it a particular pleasure to celebrate his impact on the face of theatre.’
Past recipients of the Special Award for services to theatre include Matthew Bourne (choreographer), Kenneth Branagh (actor, director), Stephen Sondheim (composer and lyricist), Judi Dench (actress), Alan Bennett (playwright), Sam Mendes (director), Maggie Smith (actress), Harold Pinter (playwright), Alec Guinness (actor), John Gielgud (actor), Joan Littlewood (actress) and Ian McKellen (actor).
Britains most prestigious theatre awards ceremony will take place on Sunday 5 April 2020 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.