Henry Mancini

Henry Mancini
Los Angeles Times


Henry Mancini
Music: North side of the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Arranger | Composer | Conductor | Songwriter
Born April 16, 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio
Died June 14, 1994 of pancreatic and liver cancer in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Henry Mancini was a prolific and innovative composer, arranger and conductor who gave the world memorable, elegant music for its movies, including the "Pink Panther" comedies, cartoons and the classic about alcoholism, "Days of Wine and Roses."

Mancini's music earned him an extraordinary collection of awards as well as universal popularity. He was nominated for Grammys 72 times and won 20, and was nominated for Academy Awards 18 times, collecting four Oscars for the songs "Moon River" and "Days of Wine and Roses" and the scores of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Victor/Victoria." Mancini recorded more than 90 albums, garnering eight gold records. He also had two Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe Award and a Lifetime Grammy Achievement Award.

Known as a prolific composer, Mancini contributed scores to more than 100 films in the first six years he was in Hollywood. He never slowed down, experimenting with revolutionary instrumentation and dissonant sounds, using bass flutes, harmonicas, untuned pianos, calliopes, and little-known Arabic and Japanese instruments. "Your name has become synonymous with 20th century music," President Clinton said at a UCLA tribute. A future unforeseen by Mancini as a youth.

As the son of a steelworker father who played the flute in a Sons of Italy band, Mancini preferred football over music. At his father's insistence, Mancini learned to play the piccolo, flute and piano. Upon discovering jazz, Mancini became hooked and joined the school band. The teenager idolized Glenn Miller, big-band leader and master of swing music, unaware that he would one day arrange music and play piano in Miller's band, "Tex Beneke." Later, Mancini was the obvious choice to compose the score for "The Glenn Miller Story" in 1954 garnering him his first Academy Award nomination.

Mancini frequently encouraged young composers and established scholarships and fellowships for their musical education. In recognition, four universities gave him honorary doctoral degrees.

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1954 Best Scoring of a Musical Picture The Glenn Miller Story Nomination*
    1961 Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture Breakfast at Tiffany's Win
    1961 Best Song "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's Win*
    1961 Best Song "Bachelor in Paradise" from Bachelor in Paradise Nomination*
    1962 Best Song "Days of Wine and Roses" from Days of Wine and Roses Win*
    1963 Best Song "Charade" from Charade Nomination*
    1964 Best Original Score The Pink Panther Nomination
    1964 Best Song "Dear Heart" from Dear Heart Nomination*
    1965 Best Song "The Sweetheart Tree" from The Great Race Nomination*
    1970 Best Original Score Sunflower Nomination
    1970 Best Original Song Score Darling Lili Nomination*
    1970 Best Song "Whistling Away the Dark" from Darling Lili Nomination*
    1971 Best Song "All His Children" from Sometimes a Great Notion Nomination*
    1976 Best Original Song "Come to Me" from The Pink Panther Strikes Again Nomination*
    1979 Best Original Score 10 Nomination
    1979 Best Original Song "It's Easy to Say" from 10 Nomination*
    1982 Best Original Song Score and/or Adaptation Victor/Victoria Win*
    1986 Best Original Song "Life in a Looking Glass" from That's Life! Nomination*
    * A joint nomination shared with other people.

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