Maurice Jarre

Maurice Jarre


Maurice Jarre
Film: South side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Sept. 13, 1924 in Lyon, France
Died March 28, 2009 of illness in Malibu, CA

Maurice Jarre was a French-born composer considered to be one of the giants of 20th century film music. He is best known for his powerfully evocative Oscar-winning scores for the David Lean epics "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), "Doctor Zhivago" (1965) and "A Passage to India" (1984).

His film career spanned five decades, beginning with music compositions for short films in France in the early 1950s. His musical repertoire grew to include more than 170 film and television scores, including those for "The Longest Day," "The Year of Living Dangerously," "Ghost," "Witness," "Gorillas in the Mist," "Fatal Attraction" and "Dead Poets Society."

Jarre worked with the most important directors in 20th century Western cinema. Among them are Rene Clement ("Is Paris Burning?"), John Frankenheimer ("Grand Prix"), Alfred Hitchcock ("Topaz"), John Huston ("The Man Who Would Be King"), Elia Kazan ("The Last Tycoon"), Volker Schlondorff ("The Tin Drum") and Franco Zeffirelli (the TV miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth").

Music innovations played key roles in Jarre's techniques and compositions. He was a pioneer of electronic music use in films. He was also known for his astute use of ethnic instruments to evoke exotic locales. The music, Jarre told The Times in 1966, "must give the film an added dimension. It must say things not seen on the screen or heard in the dialogue. This can be done without destroying the dramatic balance. It is not easy, of course, and we do not always succeed. But it is our goal."

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1962 Best Original Score Lawrence of Arabia Win
    1963 Best Adapted Score Sundays and Cybele Nomination
    1965 Best Original Score Doctor Zhivago Win
    1972 Best Song "Marmalade, Molasses & Honey" from The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean Nomination*
    1977 Best Original Score Mohammad-Messenger of God Nomination
    1984 Best Original Score A Passage to India Win
    1985 Best Original Score Witness Nomination
    1988 Best Original Score Gorillas in the Mist Nomination
    1990 Best Original Score Ghost Nomination
    * A joint nomination shared with other people.

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