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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 July, 2004, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Obituary: Jerry Goldsmith
Alien was one of many films to benefit from a Goldsmith score
Award-winning TV and film composer Jerry Goldsmith has died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 75.

Jerry Goldsmith grew up in Los Angeles and began studying piano at the age of six.

He had planned to become a concert hall composer but decided to work in mainstream entertainment in order to write music more frequently.

Aged 14, he studied composition and later attended composer Miklos Rosza's classes in film composition at the University of Southern California. Rosza had a major influence on his interest in music for film.

In 1950 he began working as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS where he received his first composing work for radio shows such as Romance and CBS Radio Workshop.

Cult TV

He scored cult TV show The Twilight Zone and was commissioned to write the Dr Kildare theme and the theme and episodes from The Man From Uncle.

He received his first Oscar nomination 1962 for his score for John Huston's biopic of Freud.

Goldsmith soon established himself as a contract composer for 20th Century Fox, establishing himself as a leading name in film music. By the early 1970s he had already written scores for major films such as The Sand Pebbles, The Planet Of The Apes and Patton.

During the 1970s he took on a number of TV commissions, providing the Emmy-winning score to the Nazi drama QBVII and the popular theme for The Waltons.


Prestigious film assignments in this period included The Wind And The Lion, Chinatown, The Wild Rovers and Papillon.

The late 1970s brought him his only Oscar, for his atmospheric and dramatic score to the satanic horror classic The Omen.

Other credits included The Swarm, The Great Train Robbery, Alien and - what to many fans was his finest work - Star Trek The Motion Picture.

Goldsmith remarked that the theme was the toughest he ever wrote. It later became the signature theme for the popular Star Trek TV spin off The Next Generation.

Spin off

Goldsmith would also go on to write the theme for a further Star Trek spin off, Star Trek Voyager.

In the 1980s he was involved with box office hits such as Rambo: First Blood, Under Fire, Poltergeist, Gremlins, and Star Trek V.

The following decade he scored the action epic Total Recall, now regarded as a classic of the genre.

He also became friends with the film's acclaimed director, Paul Verhoeven, and went on to collaborate on Basic Instinct.

The decade also saw his beautiful score to The Russia House, along with further Star Trek sequels, action epics Air Force One and The Mummy and the critically acclaimed LA Confidential.

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