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Jerry Goldsmith (10 February 192921 July 2004; age 75) was a film and television composer and conductor who wrote the musical scores for five Star Trek films and the main title themes for two Star Trek spin-off series. He was nominated for eighteen Academy Awards, winning one, and also won five Emmy Awards. He was also nominated for the 1980 Saturn Award for "Best Music" for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.


Jerry Goldsmith began studying piano at the age of six, and was studying composition at age fourteen. He became acquainted with the legendary composer Miklós Rózsa, and attended his classes in film composition at the University of Southern California.

Goldsmith originally intended to become a concert hall composer, but soon realized that the infrequency of concert hall commissions would never satisfy his hunger to write music (much less pay the bills).

In 1950, he was employed as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS. It was there that he was given his first assignments as a composer for radio shows, such as Romance and CBS Radio Workshop. He would stay with CBS until 1960, having already scored some episodes of The Twilight Zone. He was hired by Revue Studios to score their Thriller series, which lead to further television commissions. He composed his first film score for the 1957 western Black Patch, which featured Star Trek: The Original Series guest actors Stanley Adams and Peter Brocco.

In 1962, Goldsmith was awarded his first Oscar nomination for his acclaimed score to the poorly-received John Huston picture Freud. At the same time, he became acquainted with influential film composer Alfred Newman, who, recognizing Goldsmith's talents, influenced Universal into hiring him to score the film Lonely Are The Brave in 1963. From then on, Goldsmith established himself as a leading name in American film music.

Jerry Goldsmith died of cancer in Beverly Hills, California. He was 75 years old.

Notable works, awards, and honors[]

Goldsmith won his only Academy Award for scoring The Omen (1976, featured David Warner). He was also nominated for writing a song from that film called "Ave Satani". He had previously been nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his work in A Patch of Blue (1965), The Sand Pebbles (1966, directed by Robert Wise and featuring Jon Lormer and Gil Perkins), Planet of the Apes (1968, with James Daly, Lou Wagner, Paul Lambert, Billy Curtis, Jane Ross, Felix Silla, and designs by Wah Chang), Patton (1970, with Carey Loftin and Lawrence Dobkin), Papillon (1973, with Anthony Zerbe, Bill Mumy, William Smithers, Victor Tayback, Ron Soble, and Peter Brocco), Chinatown (1974, with Perry Lopez, Roy Jenson, Noble Willingham, cinematography by John A. Alonzo, and stunts by Hal Needham), and The Wind and the Lion (1975, with Brian Keith and Roy Jenson). He went on to earn nominations for scoring the films The Boys from Brazil (1978, with Walter Gotell, David Hurst, and Michael Gough), Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Poltergeist (1982, photographed by Matthew F. Leonetti), Under Fire (1983, with Joanna Cassidy and Hamilton Camp), Hoosiers (1986), Basic Instinct (1992), and L.A. Confidential (1997, with James Cromwell, Matt McCoy, Paul Guilfoyle and Steve Rankin). His last nomination came for his work in Mulan (1998, featuring the voices of Miguel Ferrer, Freda Foh Shen and George Takei).

Goldsmith was additionally nominated for four Emmy Awards, winning all of them. Aside from the theme to Star Trek: Voyager (see below), he also won Emmys for scoring QB VIII (1974, with Michael Gough, Mark Lenard, and produced by Douglas S. Cramer), the 1975 TV movie Babe, and Masada (1981). His other television scoring credits include episodes of Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, and Perry Mason, multiple episodes of The Twilight Zone and Thriller, and the opening themes for Dr. Kildare, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Waltons, and Barnaby Jones (starring Lee Meriwether).

Action epics such as Alien (1979) (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination), the Rambo films (1982, 1985, 1988, with Bruce Greenwood, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, Kurtwood Smith, and the first film photographed by Andrew Laszlo), Total Recall (1990, with Ronny Cox, Marc Alaimo, Robert Picardo, Mel Johnson, Jr., Roy Brocksmith, Lycia Naff, Robert Costanzo, Frank Kopyc, and Michael Champion), Air Force One (1997, with Dean Stockwell and Robert Duncan McNeill), and The Mummy (1999, with Erick Avari) were scored by Goldsmith.

Other films he scored include Seven Days in May (1964, with Whit Bissell and Leonard Nimoy) (for which he was also nominated for a Golden Globe), The Blue Max (1966, with Jeremy Kemp), Our Man Flint (1966, with Peter Brocco, Chuck Hicks, and Roy Jenson), In Like Flint (1967, with Steve Ihnat, Yvonne Craig, Dick Dial, and James B. Sikking), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970, with Keith Andes and Ken Lynch) Logan's Run (1976, with stunts by Bill Couch, Sr., based on the novel by George Clayton Johnson), The Secret of NIMH (1981, with Wil Wheaton), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983, with John Larroquette, Bill Quinn, Peter Brocco, William Schallert, Dick Miller, and Bill Mumy), The Russia House (1990), Six Degrees of Separation (1993, with J.J. Abrams and Anthony Rapp), Congo (1995, with Carolyn Seymour), Hollow Man (2000), and The Sum of All Fears (2002, with James Cromwell and Bruce McGill).

Goldsmith composed the soundtrack of numerous films for director Joe Dante: Gremlins (1984, with Zach Galligan, Keye Luke, Frank Welker, William Schallert, Kenneth Tobey, and Goldsmith himself having a cameo) (for which he won a Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films), Explorers (1985, with James Cromwell and Brooke Bundy), Innerspace (1987, with William Schallert, Kenneth Tobey, Andrea Martin, and photographed by Andrew Laszlo), The 'Burbs (1989), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990, with Zach Galligan, John Glover, Keye Luke, Kenneth Tobey, and again Goldsmith's cameo), Matinee (1993, with William Schallert), Small Soldiers (1998, with Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella, Ann Magnuson, Michael McKean, and Gregory Itzin), and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003, with Marc Lawrence, George Murdock, Ron Perlman, and Frank Welker). Also, with the exception of the first Gremlins, all of these films featured Star Trek: Voyager star Robert Picardo, and all of them featured two-time Trek guest actor Dick Miller in the cast.

In addition to his Oscar and Emmy achievements, Goldsmith received nine Golden Globe nominations, seven Grammy Award nominations, four nominations from the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards, and seventeen Saturn Award nominations (winning one). In 1999, he received a Hollywood Film Award in Outstanding Achievement in Music in Film from the Hollywood Film Festival. He also won an Annie Award for his work on Mulan, received a Golden Palm nomination from the Cannes Film Festival (for Basic Instinct), received a Golden Satellite Award nomination (for L.A. Confidential), and won fourteen BMI Film Music Awards, among several other honors.

In June 2016, it was announced that Goldsmith would be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. [1] The star – the 2611th – was dedicated on 9 May 2017. [2]

Association with Star Trek[]

Goldsmith was Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's original choice to compose the music for "The Cage", which would have included the show's theme music. Goldsmith had to decline, however, as he was committed to other projects and he recommended that Alexander Courage (who was mostly an arranger, and often worked with Goldsmith in that capacity) write the score instead. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) audio commentary)

In 1979, Roddenberry offered Goldsmith Star Trek: The Motion Picture and the composer leaped at the opportunity. Here, Goldsmith was tasked with re-inventing a franchise and creating a brand new theme. Goldsmith himself remarked it was the toughest he ever wrote, and it remains a remarkable achievement. The Motion Picture also marked the second time Goldsmith worked with director Robert Wise; Goldsmith previously scored The Sand Pebbles for Wise in 1966.

Beyond creating a new theme, Goldsmith also created new kinds of soundscapes in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, through the inventive use of unusual instruments, such as the "Blaster Beam". At the behest of Roddenberry, it was later adapted to become the signature theme for Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Goldsmith's other famous tune from the film, the "Klingon Battle Theme" was also reused in later Star Trek productions, most notably in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek: First Contact by Goldsmith himself, and in TNG: "Heart of Glory", "The Bonding", and (via stock footage) TNG: "Shades of Gray".

Some initial music Goldsmith composed for The Motion Picture differed from the final product, particularly the fanfare written for the scene in which the refit USS Enterprise is revealed. The original score did not meet with Robert Wise's satisfaction and Goldsmith was asked to do the score over again. According to Goldsmith, Wise was displeased with the score because "there's no [Star Trek] theme." Although Goldsmith was "crushed", he came up with a revised score which did meet with Wise's approval that same night. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) special features – "A Bold New Enterprise")

Goldsmith's score for Star Trek: The Motion Picture earned him the eleventh of his eighteen Oscar nominations in the category of Best Music, Original Score. The score also earned him nominations from the Golden Globes and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.

During the 1980s and '90s, Goldsmith's orchestra often included tuba player Tommy Johnson, best known for the ominous theme music from Jaws. Goldsmith and Johnson collaborated on all of Goldsmith's Trek productions, with the exception of Nemesis, as well as such films as Executive Decision, Air Force One, and Mulan.

In 1989, Goldsmith scored Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

In 1992, Goldsmith was approached by Paramount Pictures to write the main title theme for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Goldsmith commented "Yes, I was supposed to do that and I had a conflict and I couldn't". (The Music of Star Trek, p97)

In 1994, he wrote the main title theme for Star Trek: Voyager, for which he won an Emmy Award (Listen file info). He later composed the scores for Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection.

By the early 2000s, Goldsmith's health prevented him from working as much as he once did. He did, however, finish his work on the franchise with Star Trek Nemesis. This film also marked his third collaboration with British director Stuart Baird after Executive Decision (1996, with Andreas Katsulas) and U.S. Marshals (1998). Nemesis marked their fifth collaboration in general, as Goldsmith composed two previous films on which Baird served as editor: 1976's The Omen and 1981's Outland (with James B. Sikking and Steven Berkoff).

After his death, a tribute was made to him on the special collector's edition DVD of Star Trek: First Contact.

Star Trek credits[]

See also[]

External links[]