TV, Film Composer Jerry Goldsmith, 75
Saturday, July 24, 2004; Page B04
Jerry Goldsmith, 75, the Academy Award-winning composer who created the memorable music for scores of classic movies and television shows ranging from the "Star Trek" and "Planet of the Apes" series to "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." and "Dr. Kildare," died July 21 at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He had cancer.
A classically trained composer and conductor who began musical studies at age 6, Mr. Goldsmith's award-dappled Hollywood career -- he was nominated for 18 Oscars, won one and also took home five Emmys -- spanned nearly a half-century.
He crafted an astonishing number of TV and movie scores that have become classics in their own right. From the clarions of "Patton" (1970) to the syrupy theme for TV's "The Waltons," he sometimes seemed virtually synonymous with soundtracks.
He took on action hits such as "Total Recall" (1990), which he considered one of his best scores, as well as the "Star Trek" movies and more lightweight fare, such as his most recent movie theme, for last year's "Looney Tunes: Back in Action." His hundreds of works include scores for "Chinatown" (1974), "Basic Instinct" (1992) and "L.A. Confidential" (1997).
On television, he composed the themes for "Dr. Kildare," "Barnaby Jones" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation," among other shows. He also wrote a fanfare that is used in Academy Awards telecasts.
He won his Oscar for best original score for "The Omen" (1976). He also was nominated for nine Golden Globe awards.
A Los Angeles native, Mr. Goldsmith studied with famed pianist Jacob Gimpel and pianist, composer and film musician Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He fell in love with movie composing when he saw Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound" (1945) and while attending the University of California took classes with Miklos Rozsa, who wrote the Oscar-winning score for that film.
Following his working in radio and television, his film career took off after receiving an Oscar nomination for his work on "Freud" (1962).
Mr. Goldsmith was known for his versatility and his experimentation. He added electronics to the woodwinds and brasses of his scores. For "Planet of the Apes" (1968), he got a blaring effect by having his musicians blow horns without mouthpieces. With a puckish sense of humor, he reportedly wore an ape mask while conducting the score.
Survivors include his wife, five children, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company