Composer Jerry Goldsmith gets star on Walk of Fame

HOLLYWOOD — A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame posthumously honoring Oscar- and Emmy-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith was unveiled May 9.

Composers David Newman, Charles (Charlie) Fox and Paul Williams all spoke at the ceremony in front of the Musicians Institute on Hollywood Boulevard. Goldsmith’s widow, Carole, accepted the star on his behalf.

“You measure your success in Hollywood not so much by the success of the work that you’re doing together but by the people who hire you,” Williams said. “And I thought one of the things that was interesting was to look at the list of directors that chose to work with Jerry Goldsmith. Listen to this list: Robert Wise, Howard Hawks, Otto Preminger, Joe Dante, Richard Donner, Roman Polanski, Ridley Scott, Michael Winner, Steven Spielberg, Paul Verhoeven — I mean, the list is iconic. It’s because Jerry was as brilliant a composer as the first great Hollywood composers.

Goldsmith composed two of the American Film Institute’s top 25 film scores of all time — “Chinatown,” ninth on the list, and “Planet of the Apes,” 18th.

Goldsmith received 18 Oscar nominations, winning for best original score in 1977 for “The Omen.”

Goldsmith composed the scores for such films as “Patton,” “The Sand Pebbles,” “A Patch of Blue,” “Poltergeist,” “Basic Instinct,” “Papillon,” “Rudy,” “Gremlins,” “Mulan” and “L.A. Confidential.”

Goldsmith was nominated for seven Emmys and won five — four for outstanding original dramatic score for a miniseries, movie or a special for “The Red Pony” (1973), “QB VII” (1975); “Babe” (1976); and “Masada” (1981) and outstanding original main title theme music for “Star Trek: Voyager” (1995).

Goldsmith was born Feb. 10, 1929, in Los Angeles and studied piano and composition from a young age. After studying at USC and Los Angeles City College he went to work at CBS, which employed him as a composer for radio and television throughout the 1950s.

Goldsmith composed scores and themes for such television series as “Dr. Kildare,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and “The Waltons,” and composed scores for episodes of “The Twilight Zone” and “Gunsmoke.”

Goldsmith died on July 21, 2004, at the age of 75. Then-Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, took to the floor of the House of Representatives to eulogize Goldsmith, calling him “a national treasure.”


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