Alfred Newman

Composer

Born: 17 March 1901
Died: 17 February 1970
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut
Best known as: 17 February 1970
Alfred Newman was a versatile and prolific film scorer who directed or composed the music for more than 200 films and was rewarded with 9 Oscars -- out of 45 nominations. Newman was a child prodigy on piano who supported his family in New York City while he as a teenager. He went from bars to the vaudeville circuit, then to Broadway in the 1920s, where he was a musical director for the likes of George Gershwin and Irving Berlin. Berlin took Newman to Hollywood in 1930, and Newman launched an astounding career in the movies, as well as founding a family dynasty. His brother Robert was a studio executive, his brother Marc was an agent, his brothers Emil and Lionel were successful composers, his brother Irving was a personal physician for several Hollywood stars (and the father of composer Randy Newman) and his sons, David and Thomas, became movie scorers as well. Alfred Newman is most closely associated with 20th Century Fox studios, for whom he worked from 1942 to 1960, and for whom he wrote the fanfare they still use to accompany their logo. His nine Oscars came from: Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938); Tin Pan Alley (1940); The Song of Bernadette (1943); Mother Wore Tights (1947); With a Song in My Heart (1952); Call Me Madam (1953); Love is a Many Splendored Thing (1955); The King and I (1956); and Camelot (1967).
Extra credit: John Williams got his start in Hollywood as a 26 year-old pianist for Alfred Newman on 1958's South Pacific... For the 1940 Oscars, Newman was nominated for four different film scores.

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