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Jerry Goldsmith was born February 10th, 1929 under the name Jerrald Goldsmith in Pasadena, California. He studied Piano at the early age of 6, and then when he was old enough he began studying Film Composition at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of the extraordinary film composer Miklos Rozsa whose Score for the 1945 movie Spellbound is the supposed influence for Goldsmth's passion for Film Score.
In 1950 Goldsmith began working as a typist in the music department of the televison station CBS, soon he was actually given musical assignments to compose music for certain radio shows and and some television shows and his talent was quickly recognized. He continued to work with CBS until 1960 when he was employed by Revue Studios to score their series Thriller which soon lead to other compositions including the Dr. Kildare theme and the theme for the Man From U.N.C.L.E.
In 1962, Goldsmith recieved his first Oscar Nomination for the poorly recieved film, Freud. Soon after he met Alfred Newman, an influential film composer who, recognizing Goldsmith awesome talent, convinced Universal to let Goldsmith compose the score for the 1963 film Lonely Are the Brave, leading to more and more scoring jobs and earning Goldsmith more and more renown.
The early 1970's were some of the best years, Goldsmith was raising the bar with landmark scores such as The Planet of the Apes, The Blue Max and Patton.
In the late 1970's Goldsmith was busy juggling, sucessfully mind you, his career of scoring both Film and Television scores such as the television Epic QBVII, which he recieved an Emmy for and the ever popular The Walton's theme. Later, Goldsmith recieved his first and last Oscar for the score of the film The Omen, and went on to score the popular Alien and one of his best and most recognized films, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Goldsmith said that the theme was the most challenging thing he had ever composed, and is still to this day ONE of the most recognizable themes there are, followed by Psycho and Jaws.
In the 1980's Goldsmith composed many films such as the first four hours of the television miniseries Masada, and the films First Blood, Rambo II, Rambo III, The Secret of NIMH, Poltergeist, Supergirl and his return to the Star Trek series with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. This decade also saw his return to his heavy technological sound with Hoosiers. In this decade Goldsmith sucessfully pulled of the marriage of technological/orchestral sound without totally betraying the orchestral film score world.
In the 1990's Goldsmith completed one his most popular scores, Total Recall which has earned the title 'Classic of the Genre". He also went on to compose the scores for the films, Basic Instinct, Air Force One, Rudy, The Mummy, and Russia House to name a small few.
The new millenium brought the compositions for Hollow Man, The Last Castle (which featured a track dedicated to the victims of 9/11) Sum of All Fears, and Along Came a Spider. By this time Goldsmith's health was failing, which prevented hin from working as hard as he once used to. He still managed to finish the score for the new Star Trek installation, Nemesis, and after that his film scores were for friends such as the film score for Timeline which was directed by his friend Richard Donner. Unfortunatly the score could not be used because of major film cuts and reshoots. Donner tried to get Goldsmith to come back on board and rescore but Goldsmith was unable to.
Goldsmith's last work was fittingly for his friend, Director Joe Dante and the comedy Loony Toon's: Back in Action, Goldsmith had worked closely with Dante on past projects such as Small Soldiers, Matinee, Gremlins and Twilight Zone: The Movie.
Then on July 21st, 2004, Jerry Goldsmith, master, maestro, geniusdied peacefully in his sleep after a long battle with cancer.