Academy Award-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith was one of Hollywood's busiest and most honored musical talents. Goldsmith's compositions have virtually defined the musical personality of Star Trek since the debut of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" in 1979. That score went on to be the theme song for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Goldsmith also wrote the title music for Star Trek: Voyager, along with several other Trek movies including "Star Trek: First Contact," which many fans believe to be one of the most inspired scores ever written for a genre film (or any film for that matter).
His soundtrack for "ST:TMP" earned him one of his 17 Academy Award nominations (his one Oscar win was in 1977 for "The Omen"), as well as nominations for Golden Globe and Saturn awards. His Voyager theme song earned one of his five Emmy trophies. "First Contact" won him a BMI Film Music Award, and his audio commentary on the "Director's Edition" DVD of "TMP" earned a Video Premiere Award nomination in 2001.
A classically trained composer and conductor who began musical studies at age six, Goldsmith's career spanned nearly half a century, with an astonishing number of TV and movie scores that have become classics in their own right, including "Patton," "Rambo," "L.A. Confidential," "Basic Instinct" and "Chinatown." Science fiction fans also revere his work on the original "Planet of the Apes" as well as "Logan's Run," "Poltergeist," "Alien," "Total Recall" and many, many others.
Born February 10, 1929 in Los Angeles, Goldsmith studied with famed pianist Jacob Gimpel and pianist-composer-film musician Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He fell in love with movie composing when he saw the 1945 Ingrid Bergman movie "Spellbound," and while attending the University of California took classes with Miklos Rozsa, who wrote the Oscar-winning score for that film. In 1950, Goldsmith got a job as a clerk typist at CBS and eventually got assignments for live radio shows, writing as much as one score a week. He later turned to television. In the late 1950s he began composing for movies. His career took off in the 1960s with such major films as "Lonely Are the Brave" and "The Blue Max." He earned his first Academy Award nomination for his work on 1962's "Freud."
Goldsmith was known for his versatility and his experimentation. He added electronics to the woodwinds and brasses of his scores. For 1968's "Planet of the Apes," he got a blaring effect by having his musicians blow horns without mouthpieces. With a puckish sense of humor, he reportedly wore an ape mask while conducting the score.
Goldsmith died July 21, 2004, at the age of 75 after a long battle with cancer.