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Tim Rice

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Tim Rice
Birth name Timothy Miles Bindon Rice
Origin Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England
Genres Musical theatre, Film, Television
Occupations Lyricist

Sir Timothy Miles Bindon "Tim" Rice (born 10 November 1944) is an English lyricist and author.

An Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning lyricist, Rice is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, and his work for The Walt Disney Company with Alan Menken ( Aladdin) and Elton John (The Lion King, Road to El Dorado, and Aida).

Early life

Rice was born at Shardeloes, a country house near Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England that was requisitioned as a maternity hospital during World War II. His father, Hugh Gordon Rice, served with the Eighth Army and reached the rank of major during World War II, whilst his mother, Joan Odette (née Bawden), served in the WAAF as a photographic interpreter. After the war they both worked for the de Havilland aircraft company. Rice lived in Croxley Green, Radlett and Hatfield, Hertfordshire as a child and was educated at Aldwickbury school, St Albans School and Lancing College. He left school with GCE A-Levels in History and French and then started work as an articled clerk for a law firm in London, having decided not to apply for a university place.


After studying for a year in Paris at the Sorbonne, Rice joined EMI Records as a management trainee in 1966. When EMI producer Norrie Paramor left to set up his own organisation in 1968, Rice joined him as an assistant producer, working with, among others, Cliff Richard. Rice has collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cricket, and The Likes of Us. For The Walt Disney Company Rice has collaborated individually with Alan Menken and Elton John, creating productions including Aladdin (winning an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy Award for Song of the Year for the song " A Whole New World") and The Lion King (winning the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song for " Can You Feel the Love Tonight"). In 1996, his collaboration with Lloyd Webber for the film version Evita won Rice his third Academy Award for Best Original Song with the song " You Must Love Me". Rice has also collaborated with Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA on Chess and with Rick Wakeman on the concept albums 1984 and Cost of Living.

Along with his brother Jo and radio presenters Mike Read and Paul Gambaccini, he was a co-founder of the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and served as an editor from 1977 to 1996. He has also been a frequent guest panelist for many years on the radio panel games Just a Minute and Trivia Test Match. Rice often jokes that he is most recognised in America for his appearance in the film About a Boy. The film includes several clips from a (real) edition of the game show Countdown on which he was the guest adjudicator. His other interests include cricket (he was President of the MCC in 2002) and maths. He wrote the foreword to the book Why Do Buses Come In Threes by Rob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham, and featured prominently in Tony Hawks' One Hit Wonderland, where he co-wrote the song which gave Hawks a top twenty hit in Albania.

He released his autobiography Oh What a Circus - The Autobiography of Tim Rice in 1998, which covered his childhood and early adult life until the opening of the original London production of Evita in 1978. He is currently working on a sequel, covering his life and career since then.

Rice was made a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 (entitling him to the address "Sir Tim Rice" or "Sir Tim"), was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999 and was, in 2002, named a Disney Legend.

In 2008, Rice received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Tim is writing eight lyrics to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Nutcracker. The working title is The Nutcracker: The Untold Story.

Rice will be re-uniting with Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2011 to pen new songs for Andrew's newest production of The Wizard of Oz which begins previews in March 2011 at the London Palladium.

Personal life

Rice married Jane McIntosh on 19 August 1974, but the marriage broke up in the late-1980s after the British tabloid newspapers revealed that he had been conducting an affair with actress/singer Elaine Paige. Jane retains the title Lady Rice. They have two children, Eva and Donald. Eva Rice, who was named after the title character from Evita, is the author of the novel The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, which was a finalist for the British Book Award, "Best Read of the Year".

Rice supports Sunderland A.F.C. football club, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of Sunderland at a ceremony at the Stadium of Light in November 2006. He was also a supporter of the Conservative Party, but in 2007 stated that the Conservatives were no longer interested in him and that his relationship with the Party had "irrevocably changed."

Rice runs his own amateur Heartaches Cricket Club, the name inspired by an Elvis Presley song.

He is the co-founder of Pavilion Books.

Musical theatre

  • 1967 - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • 1970 - Jesus Christ Superstar with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • 1976 - Evita with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • 1983 - Blondel with music by Stephen Oliver
  • 1984 - Chess with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
  • 1986 - Cricket with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • 1992 - Tycoon
  • 1993 - Beauty and the Beast with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Rice with music by Alan Menken
  • 1996 - Heathcliff with music by John Farrar
  • 1997 - The Lion King with music by Elton John
  • 1997 - King David with music by Alan Menken
  • 2000 - Aida with music by Elton John
  • 2005 - The Likes of Us with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber (written in 1965, but first staged at the Sydmonton Festival on 9 July 2005).
  • 2011 - The Wizard of Oz with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. To be staged in March 2011 at the London Palladium.

Film and television work

In addition to adaptations of his theatrical productions, Rice has worked on several original film and television projects:

  • 1992 - Aladdin with music by Alan Menken. Completed work begun by Howard Ashman.
  • 1994 - The Lion King with music by Elton John, score by Hans Zimmer.
  • 2000 - The Road to El Dorado with music by Elton John, score by Hans Zimmer and John Powell.


  • "The Golden Boy" and "The Fallen Priest", recorded on Freddie Mercury's solo album Barcelona
  • 1981 concept album 1984 composed by Rick Wakeman and inspired by the George Orwell novel of the same title
  • "The Second Time", "The Last One to Leave", "Hot As Sun" and "Falling Down to Earth" on Elaine Paige's 1981 self-titled album
  • " All Time High", the theme tune to the James Bond film, Octopussy, written with John Barry and sung by Rita Coolidge (1983).

Other work

  • Co-produced the 1986 London and 1988 Broadway productions of Chess as a partner in 3 Knights Ltd with Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.
  • Co-produced the 1989 London production of Anything Goes as a partner in Anchorage Productions with Elaine Paige.
  • Co-produced, with Andrew Powell, Elaine Paige's 1981 self-titled album
  • Occasionally appears as a panelist on the BBC Radio 4 panel game Just a Minute.
  • Currently appears as host of the BBC Radio 2 weekly series Tim Rice's American Pie which explores the music and musicians of each state in the USA.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Stephen Sondheim
for Sweeney Todd
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics
for Evita
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ronnie Corbett
President of Lord's Taverners
Succeeded by
Leslie Crowther
Retrieved from ""