Born on February 10, 1929, Jerry Goldsmith studied piano with Jakob Gimpel and composition, theory, and counterpoint with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also attended classes in film composition given by Miklós Rózsa at the Univeristy of Southern California. In 1950, he was employed as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS. There, he was given his first embryonic assignments as a composer for radio shows such as "Romance" and "CBS Radio Workshop". He wrote one score a week for these shows, which were performed live on transmission. He stayed with CBS until 1960, having already scored "Twilight Zone" (1959). He was hired by Revue Studios to score their series "Thriller" (1960). It was here that he met the influential film composer Alfred Newman who hired Goldsmith to score the film Lonely Are the Brave (1962), his first major feature film score. An experimentalist, Goldsmith constantly pushed forward the bounds of film music: Planet of the Apes (1968) included horns blown without mouthpieces and a bass clarinetist fingering the notes but not blowing. He was unafraid to use the wide variety of electronic sounds and instruments which had become available, although he did not use them for their own sake.
He rose rapidly to the top of his profession in the early to mid-1960s, with scores such as Freud (1962), A Patch of Blue (1965) and The Sand Pebbles (1966). In fact, he received Oscar nominations for all three and another in the 1960s for Planet of the Apes (1968). From then onwards, his career and reputation was secure and he scored an astonishing variety of films during the next 30 years or so, from Patton (1970) to Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and from Chinatown (1974) to The Boys from Brazil (1978). He received 17 Oscar nominations but won only once, for The Omen (1976) in 1977 (Goldsmith himself dismissed the thought of even getting a nomination for work on a "horror show"). He enjoyed giving concerts of his music and performed all over the world, notably in London, where he built up a strong relationship with London Symphony Orchestra.
Jerry Goldsmith died at age 75 on July 21, 2004 after a long battle with cancer.
|Carol Heather Goldsmith||(23 July 1972 - 21 July 2004) (his death) 1 child|
|Sharon Hennagin||(23 September 1950 - 1 June 1970) (divorced) 4 children|
Best known for composing the music for the Star Trek franchise
Epic, thunderous scores
His famous ponytail
Wore an ape mask when conducting the score for Planet of the Apes (1968).
Children with Hennagin: Ellen, Carrie, Jennifer and composer Joel Goldsmith.
Frequently chose Alexander Courage as orchestrator for his scores.
Composed the 1976 Paramount TV jingle used from the fall of 1976 to the fall of 1978.
Regularly conducts concerts of his music in London, with the London Symphony Orchestra.
For most of his career, he chose the late Arthur Morton to orchestrate his scores. Later, as Morton aged, he also added in Alexander Courage. After Courage retired, he used Mark McKenzie as his primary orchestrator.
Son, Aaron, with second wife, Carol Heather Goldsmith.
He considered Total Recall (1990) one of his best scores.
Studied under Miklós Rózsa.
Buried at the beautiful Hillside Memorial Park - 6001 Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, California.
The Secret of NIMH (1982) was his first music score for an animated film. He later said that it was among his personal favorites. He was instrumental in introducing the film to Steven Spielberg, who went on to work with Bluth on An American Tail (1986). According to Bluth and Goldman in their DVD commentary, Goldsmith so loved the film that he volunteered an extra three weeks to polish and refine the score, even though he was not contractually obligated to do so.
First choice to compose Predator (1987), but was unavailable.
Stated repeatedly that his score for the drama film Islands in the Stream (1977) is his favorite of anything he has done.
He said during the DVD commentary track for Basic Instinct (1992) that it was the most complex film score he had ever composed.
In a speech during a tribute to him, fellow composer Henry Mancini noted Goldsmith's versatility, musical genius, and ability to completely change his style for each score he wrote. Mancini further stated, "frankly, he scares the hell out of the rest of us".
When the first score for Chinatown (1974), composed by Phillip Lambro, was rejected by the studio, Goldsmith was hired to rewrite the film's music. He composed and recorded the new score in only three weeks, a now legendary accomplishment.
He considered Star Trek: First Contact (1996) the best Star Trek film he ever scored.
When his score for The Omen (1976) was nominated for the Academy Award, he was so sure he would lose again after eight nominations that he almost did not attend the ceremony. The producer of "The Omen", Harvey Bernhard, talked him into it, positive that Goldsmith would win for sure. When it looked like the late Bernard Herrmann would win for either Taxi Driver (1976) or Obsession (1976), Goldsmith was surprised when he was announced as the winner, just like Bernard promised.
If our music survives, which I have no doubt it will, then it will be because it is good.
[lecturing film school students about writing music for a scene] "If you are scoring a scene for a man on a horse galloping away - you don't score the gallop but you score the fear of the rider."
A good string section and an orchestra are the first things I think of when I start a project. The strings are particularly important to me. With them I can do any kind of picture. After the human voice, they are the most expressive instrument I know.
I would have burned out a long time ago if I just took a job, the money and ran with it. There's still a challenge for me in scoring films. I'm willing to tackle an interesting project if it offers me a chance to do something I haven't done before. When I'm excited about something, the creativity just flows. I like a good creative fight. The soundtrack will always get done. But I'm not happy until it gets done well.
When I get a fantasy film job, the first thing I look for is the non-fantasy element to build the music upon. The human side of the film is what's important, not the hardware. My work on 'Poltergeist' is a perfect example. Most people saw it as a ghost story and a horror story. I saw it as a love story and wrote the music with that emotion in mind. There is no formula to finding what musically fits a science fiction film. I just look for the emotion. When I don't find those, it makes things more difficult.
|The Omen (1976)||$25,000|
|You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.|
|With our Resume service you can add photos and build a complete resume to help you achieve the best possible presentation on the IMDb.|
Click here to add your resume and/or your photos to IMDb.