Bill Conti, best known for composing the fist-pumping fight theme to "Rocky," gained critical success years later when he won an Oscar for best original score for "The Right Stuff."
After graduating high school in North Miami, Fla., Conti won a bassoon scholarship to Louisiana State University. At LSU, he did arrangements for the marching band, accompanied the university ballet, played bassoon in the university orchestra and played saloon piano in his spare time.
From LSU, he went to Julliard to study composition and then to Italy to study and compose opera. He played piano in Roman nightclubs for seven years.
In 1973, while he was at the Venice Song Festival, Conti was asked to be music supervisor of "Blume in Love," which director Paul Mazursky was shooting in town. Later Mazursky urged him to try his hand in Hollywood.
He scored Mazursky's 1974 "Harry and Tonto," which starred Art Carney. And, subsequently scored “Next Stop, Greenwich Village” and “An Unmarried Woman” also for Mazursky.
Conti, who has written the music for more than a hundred films and television programs including the miniseries "North and South," which starred Kirstie Alley and David Carradine, is also know by TV viewers as the feisty conductor unmoved by overly verbose celebrities on Oscar night.
|1976||Best Original Song||"Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky||Nomination*|
|1981||Best Original Song||"For Your Eyes Only" from For Your Eyes Only||Nomination*|
|1983||Best Original Score||The Right Stuff||Win|