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Gerald Fried (13 February 192817 February 2023; age 95) was an Academy Award-nominated, Emmy Award-winning composer from New York City who wrote the music scores for five episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. Perhaps his most notable Trek composition is "The Ancient Battle/2nd Kroykah", which played during the koon-ut-kal-if-fee fight scene in "Amok Time". This music was re-used in many more episodes throughout the second season and became among the most memorable pieces from the series. The score has acquired cult status over the years and was memorably mimicked by Eddie Murphy in the comedy special Delirious and featured in the Jim Carrey film The Cable Guy, and referenced again by Michael Giacchino in Star Trek Into Darkness when Spock beams down to Earth to confront Khan Noonien Singh. Fried was hired to work for the series by associate producer Robert H. Justman who knew his previous work on film and television scores. [1]

Educated at the Juilliard School of Music, Fried began his career as a composer for short films and motion pictures for his childhood schoolmate and friend, director Stanley Kubrick. His collaborations with Kubrick include The Killing (1956, featuring Elisha Cook) and Paths of Glory (1957). Fried moved on to work for director/producer Roger Corman on such films as I Mobster (1958, featuring Celia Lovsky), The Cry Baby Killer (1958, featuring Bill Erwin), and High School Big Shot (starring Stanley Adams). He also worked frequently with director Paul Landres during the 1950s. His other credits for that decade include I Bury the Living (1958, starring Theodore Bikel), Curse of the Faceless Man (1958, written by Jerome Bixby) and The Lost Missile (1958, also written by Jerome Bixby and starring Phillip Pine).

During the early 1960s, Fried composed several television specials for United Artists. His film credits during this time include A Cold Wind in August (1961, directed by Alexander Singer), The Cabinet of Caligari (1962, starring Lawrence Dobkin and written by Robert Bloch), and One Potato, Two Potato (1964, photographed by Andrew Laszlo).

Fried went on to write music for a number of popular television shows in the 60s, including Gilligan's Island, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, and, of course, Star Trek. He continued composing for films, as well, including Deathwatch (1966, starring Robert Ellenstein, Michael Forest, and Leonard Nimoy) and 1967's Danger Has Two Faces (starring Robert Lansing).

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Fried worked on several films for director/producer Robert Aldrich. Their collaborations include 1969's What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (starring Rosemary Forsyth) and The Grissom Gang (1971, starring Kim Darby, Don Keefer, and Robert Lansing). After films such as The Baby (1973, featuring Marianna Hill and Michael Pataki) and Vigilante Force (1976, featuring Dick Miller), Fried worked primarily on television for the remainder of his career.

Fried received a 1975 Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score for the Lee Bergere-narrated documentary Birds Do It, Bees Do It. He then won an Emmy Award (shared with Quincy Jones) for his scoring on first chapter of Roots, the acclaimed 1977 mini-series which starred LeVar Burton, Thalmus Rasulala, John Schuck, Madge Sinclair, and Ben Vereen. He also received Emmy nominations for his work on the eighth chapter of Roots, the 1980 John Erman-directed TV movie The Silent Lovers (starring Brian Keith and John Rubinstein, with cinematography by Gayne Rescher), Mystic Warrior (1984, starring Robert Beltran), Nick Ramus, and Ron Soble), and Part III of the 1987 mini-series Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story (featuring William Lucking and Leigh Taylor-Young).

Following his Emmy-winning work on Roots, Fried returned to compose the music for the sequel, Roots: The Next Generation (featuring Fran Bennett, Bernie Casey, James Daly, Albert Hall, Bruce French, Charles Lucia, Bill Quinn, Brock Peters, Logan Ramsey, Percy Rodriguez, John Rubinstein, Paul Winfield, and Jason Wingreen). Another mini-series he worked on was 1977's Testimony of Two Men, co-directed by Leo Penn and starring Theodore Bikel, Jeff Corey, Logan Ramsey, and William Shatner. His TV movie credits include three Gilligan's Island follow-ups, Disaster on the Coastline (1979, starring William Shatner), The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair (featuring Anthony Zerbe and art direction by Herman Zimmerman). Following 1988's Roots: The Gift (starring Fran Bennett, Avery Brooks, Jerry Hardin, Kate Mulgrew, and Tim Russ and featuring cinematography by John A. Alonzo), Fried retired from film scoring. In total, his credits consist of nearly two hundred films, television episodes, and specials.

Star Trek credits[]

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