A classically trained composer and conductor who began his musical studies at age 6, Goldsmith's prolific career spanned nearly half a century and includes such films as The Omen, for which he won an Academy Award in 1976, Poltergeist, Planet of the Apes, Alien, Gremlins, L.A. Confidential, Basic Instinct, The Mummy and most recently Looney Tunes: Back in Action. His TV scores and themes are also legendary and include such classics as The Waltons, Twilight Zone, Man from U.N.C.L.E., Dr. Kildaire, Police Woman and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The five-time Emmy Award winning composer received the very first BMI Richard Kirk Award for outstanding achievement in film music in 1986 at BMI's annual Film and Television Awards ceremony. In 1999, BMI established the BMI/Jerry Goldsmith Film Scoring Scholarship at UCLA Extension for students enrolled in the prestigious Film Scoring program.
"Jerry Goldsmith was a true renaissance composer. His works for movies and television ranged from the deeply dramatic to the whimsical and always reflected the storyline," commented BMI President and CEO Frances Preston. "He was a generous mentor to many young composers and he will be deeply missed by everyone in the entertainment industry."
Born in 1929 in Los Angeles, Goldsmith originally intended to become a concert hall composer but after seeing the 1945 Ingrid Bergman movie, Spellbound, he fell in love with film composing and even took classes at the University of California with Miklos Rozsa, the film's Oscar-winning composer.
In 1950, he landed a job at CBS and eventually began writing for live radio shows, and later turned to television. His film score career took off in the 1960s with such major films as Lonely Are the Brave and The Blue Max. He earned his first (of 17) Oscar nominations for his work on 1962's Freud.
Goldsmith is survived by his wife, Carol; children Aaron, Joel, Carrie, Ellen Edson and Jennifer Grossman, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild.