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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 17 March 1901New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Date of Death 17 February 1970Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA  (emphysema)
Nickname Pappy
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Alfred Newman was born on March 17, 1901 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He is known for his work on The King and I (1956), Modern Times (1936) and The Grapes of Wrath (1940). He was married to Martha Montgomery and Mary Lou Dix. He died on February 17, 1970 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Spouse (2)

Martha Montgomery (1947 - 17 February 1970) (his death) (5 children)
Mary Lou Dix (1940 - ?) (divorced)

Trivia (17)

Invented the Newman system for movie music scoring.
Composed the 20th Century Pictures logo theme, retained when the company merged with Fox films and became 20th Century-Fox. It is still in use today.
Father of composers Thomas Newman, Maria Newman and David Newman, and director Tim Newman. Brother of composers Emil Newman and Lionel Newman. Uncle of composer Randy Newman. Great-uncle of composer Joey Newman.
He was one of the few arranger/conductors to work on two film versions of the same musical, "State Fair" (State Fair (1945), State Fair (1962)).
Until the morning of January 31, 2006, when John Williams received his 44th and 45th Oscar nominations, Newman held the record for the most Oscar-nominated composer/conductor ever, and he won a record nine Oscars in all.
In 1940, he achieved the astonishing feat of garnering four Oscar nominations for four different films.
He was one of two film composers to have received four Oscar nominations in the same year - the other being Victor Young, who achieved it twice.
Nominated for an Academy Award 20 years in succession, from 1938 to 1957. This includes a nine year stretch from 1938 to 1946 in which he was nominated for at least two different movie scores in each of those years.
Pictured on one of six 33ยข USA commemorative postage stamps in the Legends of American Music series, honoring Hollywood Composers, issued September 21, 1999. Issued in panes of 20 stamps. Others honored in the set were Max Steiner, Dimitri Tiomkin, Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman and Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 1708 Vine Street in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
Had a reputation for perfectionism and for being almost obsessively self-critical.
At the instigation of Irving Berlin, who first made the suggestion to the head of United Artists, Joseph M. Schenck, Newman was invited to Hollywood in 1930 to arrange and score Berlin's comedy Reaching for the Moon (1930). He was then signed by United Artists (working primarily for Samuel Goldwyn) to a seven-year contract, from 1931 to 1938. Producer Darryl F. Zanuck became so enamored with his work, that he coaxed him into joining the newly formed 20th Century Fox. His subsequent tenure at Fox, both as composer and as musical director, spanned the years 1938 to 1959. During this time, he became the studio's most prodigious Academy Award winner. From 1940, until his departure, he held the title of general music director. He was succeeded in that capacity by his younger brother Lionel Newman.
Child prodigy by the age of eight. He derived his first income as an accompanist on piano in vaudeville, and in the orchestral pits of picture theatres. Newman worked his way up the ladder, conducting his first orchestra by age 17, consequently being tagged the boy conductor. By 1917, he had made his way to New York, conducting musicals on Broadway, beginning with "George White's Scandals".
Holds the record for the most Academy Awards of any composer (9). The closest is Alan Menken who has eight.
Alfred Newman passed away on February 17, 1970, a month away from what would have been his 69th birthday on March 17.
Following his death, he was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Eternal Prayer.
In 1992, Ken Darby, the choral supervisor of The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), wrote "Hollywood Holyland", the chronicle of his experience on the production and what he felt was the butchering of Alfred Newman's score in the final film.

Personal Quotes (1)

...Everybody here in Hollywood knows his business, plus music.

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