Frank DeVol, 88, a composer who wrote scores for more than 50 films and who received four Oscar nominations, died Oct. 27 at a nursing home in Lafayette, Calif. He had congestive heart failure.
He received Oscar nominations for the music he scored for "Pillow Talk" (1959), "Hush . . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (1964), "Cat Ballou" (1965) and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967). His film music credits also include "The Flight of the Phoenix" (1965) and "McLintock!" (1963).
He also wrote the theme music for seven television series, including "My Three Sons" "Family Affair" and "The Brady Bunch." He also took on roles as a character actor on "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster" and the Jack Benny Show. In the 1977 television series "Fernwood 2-Night," he portrayed Happy Kyne, a studio orchestra leader who ran a dental office on the side.
Mr. DeVol also appeared in the 1961 film "The Parent Trap."
He began writing film scores in the 1950s, eventually scoring music for 16 films directed by Robert Aldrich alone. These included the 1967 box office hit "The Dirty Dozen." But it was in television during the 1960s and 1970s that Mr. DeVol left his most indelible mark, writing a series of winsome title songs.
The "Brady Bunch" theme, a catchy 21-line ditty about a "lovely lady" and "a man named Brady," earned Mr. DeVol one of his five Emmy nominations and is his best-known work. It is a piece of music instantly recognizable to a generation of TV viewers who remember the show from its original 1969 to 1974 run as well as fans the series has cultivated in its syndicated afterlife.
Mr. DeVol was born in Moundsville, W.Va., and raised in Canton, Ohio. He got his show-biz start playing violin at age 14 in his father's orchestra pit for silent films and vaudeville acts.
After marrying dancer Grayce Agnes McGinty and moving to California in the 1930s, he became an arranger and musical director for a number of radio stars. During the 1940s and 1950s, he arranged music and conducted orchestras backing such vocalists as Doris Day, Margaret Whiting, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone and Ella Fitzgerald.
Mr. DeVol also served as an arranger for several star singers and was the arranger and conductor for Nat "King" Cole's classic hit "Nature Boy" on Capitol Records.
Two years after the 1989 death of his first wife, he married Helen O'Connell, a former vocalist from the big-band era; she died in 1993.
Survivors include two daughters from his first marriage and two grandsons.