We are saddened to report the passing of Leandro “Gato” Barbieri, who died today of pneumonia. He recorded several albums for A&M, but is perhaps best known as the composer of the steamy Marlon Brando film Last Tango in Paris.
Born 1932 in Rosario, Argentina, Barbieri came from a musical family, picking up the saxophone when he was a teenager. His rushing between gigs with his saxophone earned him the nickname “El Gato (The Cat),” which stuck with him throughout his career.
In addition to his infamous soundtrack, he recorded about 35 albums between 1967 and 1982. He had quit recording regularly in recent decades (save for 1997’s Que Pasa), but was recently appearing monthly at live gigs.
Barbieri is survived by his wife and son, and a sister in Buenos Aires.