Jerry Goldsmith Biography

Jerrald Goldsmith, 10 February 1929, Los Angeles, California, USA, d. 21 July 2004, Beverly Hills, California, USA. A prolific composer for films and television, from the late 50s through to the new millennium. Besides studying music at the University of South Carolina (under Hungarian composer Miklos Rozsa), Goldsmith also took lessons in office practice and secured a job as a clerk/typist with CBS Television, before moving to the company’s music department in Los Angeles in 1950. During the 50s, first as a staffer, and then as a freelancer, he wrote theme music for popular television series such as Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Kildare, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. , and several more.

In the late 50s, Goldsmith started to compose for movies such as Black Patch and City Of Fear and, through the good auspices of film composer Alfred Newman, he came to prominence with his score for Lonely Are The Brave (1962). It was the start of a career in which he composed the music for over 150 films, ranging from westerns such as Rio Conchos, Bandolero! and a re-make of Stagecoach to the ‘shockers’, The Omen, Damien: Omen II, The Final Conflict, Poltergeist, and Psycho II. He worked on several films with his favourite director, Franklin J. Schaffner, including The Stripper, Planet Of The Apes, Patton, Papillon, Islands In The Stream, and The Boys From Brazil.

During the 60s it was estimated that Goldsmith was averaging about six films a year. These included The Spiral Road, Lilies Of The Field, The Prize, Seven Days In May, To Trap A Spy, The Satan Bug, In Harm’s Way, Von Ryan’s Express, A Patch Of Blue, Our Man Flint, The Trouble With Angels, The Blue Max, The Sand Pebbles, In Like Flint, The Flim-Flam Man aka One Born Every Minute, The Detective and Justine. Throughout the 70s, 80s and into the new millennium, Goldsmith was still one of the busiest film composers around, contributing to movies such as Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Mephisto Waltz, Chinatown, Logan’s Run, MacArthur, Capricorn One, Alien, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Outland, Raggedy Man, First Blood, Under Fire, Gremlins, Rambo: First Blood Part II, King Solomon’s Mines, Hoosiers aka Best Shot, Extreme Prejudice, Innerspace, Rambo III, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Total Recall, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, The Russia House, Sleeping With The Enemy, Basic Instinct, Love Field, Forever Young, Matinee, The Vanishing, Malice, Angie, Bad Girls, The Shadow, The River Wild, I.Q. , First Knight, City Hall, Fierce Creatures, L.A. Confidential, Mulan, Small Soliders, Hollow Man, The Sum Of All Fears, and Star Trek: Nemesis. By this stage, more than 15 of his scores had been nominated for an Academy Award, but only The Omen (1976) received an Oscar. In addition to composing, Goldsmith conducted orchestras such as the San Diego Symphony and Britain’s Royal Philharmonic, playing his music in concert halls around the world. He died of cancer in July 2004. His son Joel Goldsmith is also a composer for films

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.