Alfred Newman

Active - 1930 - 1970  |   Born - Mar 17, 1901   |   Died - Feb 17, 1970   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Musical

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Biography by AllMovie

American film composer/conductor/adaptor Alfred Newman was a child prodigy -- and none too modest about the fact. Making his professional debut at seven (after taking private lessons from the great Arnold Schoenberg), Newman was billed as "the Marvelous Boy Pianist." He was later known variously as "the Boy Conductor" and "the Youngest Conductor in the United States." By the time he entered films with the 1930 Goldwyn production Whoopee!, Newman had a decade's worth of experience conducting symphonies and Broadway orchestras. His first important film composition was the Gershwyn-esque title theme for Goldwyn's Street Scene (1931) which he later expanded into a suite and utilized as the credit music for several 20th Century Fox films, notably I Wake up Screaming (1941) and Cry of the City (1948); in the prologue to 1953's How to Marry a Millionaire, Newman can be seen conducting this classic piece. Newman's association with 20th Century Fox began in 1933, when the company was still merely 20th Century Pictures. It was he who composed Fox's fabled "Fanfare," which is still utilized to herald the studio's movie and TV projects (including the Sunday afternoon pro football games). Nominated for 45 Academy awards, Newman won the award nine times, for Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), Tin Pan Alley (1940), The Song of Bernadette (1943), Mother Wore Tights (1947), With a Song in My Heart (1952), Call Me Madam (1953), Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955), The King and I (1956), and -- at Warners Bros. -- Camelot (1967). His last composition was the driving, intensely up-to-date main theme for Universal's Airport (1970). Alfred Newman was the brother of Lionel Newman, the father of David Newman and Thomas Newman, and the uncle of Randy Newman -- composers all.

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