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Jerry Goldsmith (1929)

Jerrald King Goldsmith

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Jerrald King "Jerry" Goldsmith (February 10, 1929 – July 21, 2004) was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring.

He composed scores for such noteworthy films as The Sand Pebbles, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Chinatown, The Wind and the Lion, The Omen, The Boys from Brazil, Alien, Poltergeist, Gremlins, Hoosiers, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Rudy, Air Force One, L.A. Confidential, Mulan, The Mummy, three Rambo films, and five Star Trek films. He was nominated for six Grammy Awards, nine Golden Globes, four BAFTAs, and seventeen Academy Awards. In 1977 he was awarded an Oscar for The Omen.

He collaborated with some of the most prolific directors in film history, including Robert Wise , Howard Hawks , Otto Preminger (In Harm's Way), Joe Dante (Gremlins, The 'Burbs, Small Soldiers), Roman Polanski , Ridley Scott , Steven Spielberg , and Paul Verhoeven . However, his most notable collaboration was arguably that with Franklin J. Schaffner, for whom Goldsmith scored such films as Planet of the Apes, Patton, Papillon, and The Boys from Brazil.


 early life and education
Goldsmith, who was Jewish, was born 10 February 1929 in Los Angeles, California.[] His parents were Tessa (née Rappaport), an artist, and Morris Goldsmith, a structural engineer. He started playing piano at age six, but only "got serious" by the time he was eleven. At the age of thirteen he studied piano privately with legendary concert pianist and educator Jakob Gimpel and by the age of sixteen he was studying both theory and counterpoint under Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who also tutored such noteworthy composers and musicians as Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, Herman Stein, André Previn, Marty Paich, and John Williams.

At the age of sixteen, Goldsmith saw the movie Spellbound in theaters and was inspired by the soundtrack by veteran composer Miklós Rózsa to pursue a career in music. Goldsmith later enrolled and attended the University of Southern California where he was able to attend courses by Rózsa, but dropped out in favor of a more "practical music program" at the Los Angeles City College. There he was able to coach singers, work as an assistant choral director, play piano accompaniment, and work as an assistant conductor.

Jerry Goldsmith has often been considered one of the most innovative and influential composers in the history of film music. While presenting Goldsmith with a Career Achievement Award from the Society for the Preservation of Film Music in 1993, fellow composer Henry Mancini (Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Pink Panther) said of Goldsmith, "...he has instilled two things in his colleagues in this town. One thing he does, he keeps us honest. And the second one is he scares the hell out of us." In his review of the 1999 re-issue of the Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack, Bruce Eder highly praised Goldsmith's ability, stating, " of the new tracks, 'Spock's Arrival,' may be the closest that Goldsmith has ever come to writing serious music in a pure Romantic idiom; this could have been the work of Rimsky-Korsakov or Stravinsky -- it's that good." In a 2001 interview, film composer Marco Beltrami stated, "Without Jerry, film music would probably be in a different place than it is now. I think he, more than any other composer bridged the gap between the old hollywood scoring style and the modern film composer."

 personal life
Goldsmith was married twice. He was first married to Sharon Hennagin in 1950 which ended in their divorce in 1970. He later married Carol Heather in 1972 and the couple remained together until his death in 2004. His oldest son Joel Goldsmith is also a composer and collaborated with his father on the score for Star Trek: First Contact, composing approximately twenty-two minutes of the score. Jerry Goldsmith also conducted Joel's theme for The Untouchables and composed the theme for the pilot Hollister, scored by Joel. Goldsmith's daughter, Carrie Goldsmith, went to high school with famed Titanic composer James Horner, who also composed music for Star Trek's second and third movies: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Carrie Goldsmith was working on a biography of her father, though the book has been suspended indefinitely for unspecified reasons.

Goldsmith passed away at his Beverly Hills home 21 July 2004 after a battle with colon cancer at the age of 75. He is survived by his wife Carol and his children Aaron, Joel, Carrie, Ellen Edson, and Jennifer Grossman.

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Name Duration Released
Badge Of Honor 00:00 1997
Breakway 03:00 1979
The Face Hugger 02:32 1979
End Title 03:02 1979
Main Title 03:30 1979
The Shaft 03:57 1979
The Alien Planet 02:28 1979
The Recovery 02:44 1979
The Droid 04:40 1979
The Landing 04:29 1979
Acid Test 04:35 1979


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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Jerry Goldsmith", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.