Elmer Bernstein

Elmer Bernstein
Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times


Elmer Bernstein
Film: North side of the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born April 4, 1922 in New York, NY
Died Aug. 18, 2004 of illness in Ojai, CA

Elmer Bernstein was an Academy Award-winning composer who created some of the most recognizable music in American films.

"He was the consummate composer. He was classically trained and could do it all," said Marilyn Bergman, president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Bernstein, whose career spanned more than 50 years and included more than 200 films, was nominated for Oscars 14 times, winning in 1967 for "Thoroughly Modern Millie." Among his other nominated scores were "To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Magnificent Seven," "The Man With the Golden Arm," "True Grit," "The Age of Innocence" and, most recently, "Far From Heaven."

He also wrote for television, including "The Big Valley" in the 1960s and "Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law" in the 1970s, as well as many miniseries and TV documentaries. In 1963, he won an Emmy for "The Making of the President: 1960."

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1955 Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture The Man With the Golden Arm Nomination
    1960 Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture The Magnificient Seven Nomination
    1961 Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture Summer and Smoke Nomination
    1962 Best Original Score To Kill a Mockingbird Nomination
    1962 Best Song "Walk on the Wild Side" from Walk on the Wild Side Nomination*
    1966 Best Original Score Hawaii Nomination
    1966 Best Adapted Score Return of the Seven Nomination
    1966 Best Song "My Wishing Doll" from Hawaii Nomination*
    1967 Best Original Score Thoroughly Modern Millie Win
    1969 Best Song "True Grit" from True Grit Nomination*
    1974 Best Song "Wherever Love Takes Me" from Gold Nomination*
    1983 Best Original Song Score and/or Adaptation Trading Places Nomination
    1993 Best Original Score The Age of Innocence Nomination
    2002 Best Original Score Far From Heaven Nomination
    * A joint nomination shared with other people.

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