Unique among the major Hollywood composers of the 1940s, most of whom were foreign born, Hugo Friedhofer was a California boy through and through. The son of a cello player, Friedhofer became a symphony cellist himself, after briefly pursuing painting as a vocation. He entered films in 1929 as orchestrator of such early-talkie Fox musicals as Sunny Side Up. His first credit as a full composer was for the 1937 Samuel Goldwyn production The Adventures of Marco Polo. Nominated for six Academy Awards during his five-decade movie career, Hugo Friedhofer took home the Oscar for his brilliant work on Goldwyn's The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).