No photo available. Represent Billy Strayhorn? Add or change photos at IMDbPro
Down 126,039 this week

Billy Strayhorn (1915–1967)

Composer, lyricist, arranger and pianist Billy Strayhorn's career was inextricably linked to that of the great Duke Ellington. For nearly thirty years, the small, diffident guy with the gold-rimmed spectacles (nicknamed "Sweepea" by band members, after a comic book character) served as Ellington's closest confidante and collaborator. He was also ... See full bio »

IMDb Picks: October

Of course the return of "The Walking Dead" is on our radar this month. See which other movies and TV shows we're excited about in IMDb Picks.

Visit IMDb Picks

On Amazon Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1753 people
created 25 Dec 2014
a list of 5869 people
created 9 months ago

Do you have a demo reel?

Add it to your IMDbPage

Connect with IMDb

How Much Have You Seen?

How much of Billy Strayhorn's work have you seen?

User Polls

Known For

Catch Me If You Can
Catch Me If You Can Soundtrack
Unbreakable Soundtrack
Red Dragon
Red Dragon Soundtrack
The Master
The Master Soundtrack


Hide Hide Show Show Soundtrack (69 credits)
 2016 Darker Than You Think (writer: "Take the A Train") (announced)
 2016 Nature Photographs (Short) (writer: "Take The A Train")
 2013 No Kaddish in Carmarthen (Short) (writer: "Take The A Train")
 2013 The Swing of Things (Short) (writer: "Take the A Train")
 2013 Mood Indigo (writer: "Take the 'A' Train")
 2012 The Master (writer: "Lotus Blossom")
 2012 Ginger & Rosa (writer: "Take the A Train")
 2011 The Fairy (writer: "Blues in orbit")
 2010 BBC Swingin' Christmas (TV Movie) (writer: "Take the "A" Train")
 2010 Sir John Dankworth at the BBC (TV Movie) (writer: "Take the A Train")
 2010 The Pacific (TV Mini-Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- Home (2010) ... (writer: "Clementine")
 2010 Treme (TV Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- Shallow Water, Oh Mama (2010) ... (writer: "Take The A Train" - uncredited)
 2009 Johnny Mercer: The Dream's on Me (TV Movie documentary) (music: "Satin Doll")
 2009 My Music: The Big Band Years (TV Movie) (music: "Take the 'A' Train" - uncredited)
 2008 A Christmas Tale (writer: "Lotus Blossom", "Ad Lib On Nippon")
 2008 Grand Theft Auto IV (Video Game) (writer: "Take the "A" Train" - as B. Strayhorn)
 2008 Os Desafinados (writer: "Take the 'A' Train")
 2007 Da Lintsi -koodi (TV Movie) (writer: "Lush Life")
 2006 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (TV Series) (1 episode)
- Pilot (2006) ... ("Lush Life")
 2004 Spanglish (writer: "Lush Life")
 2004 The Return of the Dancing Master (TV Mini-Series) (writer: "Take The A Train")
 2004 Melinda and Melinda (writer: "Take The 'A' Train" (1941))
 2004 Rosemary Clooney: Singing at Her Best (Video short) (writer: "I'm Checkin' Out, Goom-bye")
 2003 The Blues (TV Series documentary) (writer - 1 episode)
- Piano Blues (2003) ... (writer: "Lush Lite")
 2003 The Human Stain (writer: "Day Dream" (1939))
 2002 Catch Me If You Can (writer: "Take the A Train")
 2002 Red Dragon (writer: "Lament for Javanette", "Passion Flower")
 2001 Changi (TV Mini-Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- Curley (2001) ... (writer: "Take the A Train")
 2001 Sidewalks of New York (writer: "Lush Life" (1938))
 2000 Unbreakable (writer: "Lotus Blossom" (1962))
 2000 Yksityisetsivän tytär (Short) (lyrics: "A Drum is a Woman") / (music: "Absinthe", "A Drum is a Woman")
 2000 Girlfight (writer: "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing", "Valse")
 1999 Great Railway Journeys (TV Series documentary) (writer - 1 episode)
- Singapore to Bangkok (1999) ... (writer: "Take the 'A' Train")
 1998 Living Out Loud (writer: "Lush Life")
 1998 The Newton Boys (writer: "Take the 'A' Train")
 1997 The Rolling Stones: Bridges to Babylon Tour '97-98 (TV Movie documentary) (writer: "Take the A Train")
 1996 The Pallbearer (writer: "Take the A Train")
 1992 Malcolm X (writer: "Arabesque Cookie" - as Billy Straythorn )
 1992 Glengarry Glen Ross (writer: "Daydream")
 1991 Dead Again ("Lush Life")
 1991 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear ("SATIN DOLL")
 1990 White Hunter Black Heart (writer: "SATIN DOLL")
 1989 Harlem Nights (writer: "Take The 'A' Train")
 1989 Field of Dreams (writer: "Lotus Blossom")
 1988 Let's Get Lost (Documentary) ("Daydream")
 1987 In the Mood (writer: "TAKE THE 'A' TRAIN")
 1987 Radio Days (writer: "Take the 'A' Train" (1941))
 1986 Blues for Central Avenue (Documentary) (writer: "Take the A-Train", "Lush Life")
 1982 Let's Spend the Night Together (Documentary) ("Take The A Train")
 1982 Saturday Night Live (TV Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- Blythe Danner/Rickie Lee Jones (1982) ... (writer: "Lush Life" - uncredited)
 1982 Police Squad! (TV Series) (1 episode)
- The Butler Did It (A Bird in the Hand) (1982) ... ("Satin Doll")
 1980 Joe Albany... a Jazz Life (Documentary) (writer: "Lush Life")
 1980 Rough Cut (writer: "Satin Doll" - uncredited)
 1977 The Richard Pryor Show (TV Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- Episode #1.1 (1977) ... (writer: "Take the 'A' Train", "Satin Doll")
 1975 The Lawrence Welk Show (TV Series) (music - 1 episode)
- America on the Move (1975) ... (music: "Take the 'A' Train" - uncredited)
 1973 Duke Ellington... We Love You Madly (TV Special) (writer: "Lush Life")
 1969 Love You Madly: A Salute to Duke Ellington (TV Movie) (writer: "Take the 'A' Train", "Passion Flower")
 1967 The Bell Telephone Hour (TV Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- On the Road with Duke Ellington (1967) ... (writer: "You Can Take the A Train")
  Center Stage (TV Mini-Series) (music - 1 episode, 1967) (writer - 1 episode, 1967)
- The Barbara McNair and Duke Ellington Special (1967) ... (music: "Satin Doll") / (writer: "Take the A Train")
 1966 The Danny Kaye Show (TV Series) (music - 1 episode)
- Episode #4.4 (1966) ... (music: "Satin Doll" - uncredited)
 1961 Paris Blues (music: "Take The 'A' Train" - uncredited)
 1961 Glenn Miller Time (TV Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- Episode #1.1 (1961) ... (writer: "Take the A Train")
 1959 Timex All-Star Jazz Show (TV Series) (music - 1 episode)
- The Golden Age of Jazz (1959) ... (music: "Take the 'A' Train" - uncredited)
 1955 Show Time at the Apollo (TV Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- Showtime in Harlem ... (writer: "Take the 'A' Train")
 1951 Take the 'A' Train (Short) (music: "Take the 'A' Train)
 1949 Adventures in Jazz (TV Series) (writer - 1 episode)
- Episode #1.15 (1949) ... (writer: "Take the 'A' Train")
 1949 Symphony in Swing (Short) (writer: "Take the A Train")
 1946 Breakin' It Down (Short) (writer: "Just a-Sittin' and a-Rockin'" - uncredited)
 1943 Reveille with Beverly (writer: "Take the 'A' Train")
Show Show Music department (3 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (1 credit)

Personal Details

Publicity Listings:

1 Biographical Movie | 2 Print Biographies | 1 Article | See more »


5' 3" (1.6 m)

Did You Know?


Composed the masterpiece entitled "Lush Life" when he was only sixteen years old. See more »


Swee' Pea

Star Sign:


Message Boards

Discuss Billy Strayhorn on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page