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Alex North (born Isadore Soifer, December 4, 1910 – September 8, 1991) was an American composer best known for his many film scores, including A Streetcar Named Desire (one of the first jazz-based film scores), Viva Zapata!, Spartacus, Cleopatra, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. He was the first composer to receive an Honorary Academy Award but never won a competitive Oscar despite fifteen nominations.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career 3 Awards 4 Selected filmography 5 References 6 External links

Early life[edit] North was born Isadore Soifer in Chester, Pennsylvania
Chester, Pennsylvania
to Russian Jewish parents.[1] Career[edit] North managed to integrate his modernism into typical film music leitmotif structure, rich with themes. One of these became the famous song, "Unchained Melody". Nominated for fifteen Oscars but unsuccessful each time, North is one of only two film composers to receive the Lifetime Achievement Academy Award, the other being Ennio Morricone. North's frequent collaborator as orchestrator was the avant-garde composer Henry Brant. He won the 1968 Golden Globe
Golden Globe
award for his music to The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968). His best-known film scores include A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, Viva Zapata!, The Rainmaker, Spartacus, The Misfits, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Dragonslayer and Under the Volcano. His music for The Wonderful Country makes use of Mexican and American motifs. His commissioned score for 2001: A Space Odyssey is notorious for having been discarded by director Stanley Kubrick. Although North later incorporated motifs from the rejected score for The Shoes of the Fisherman, Shanks and Dragonslayer, the score itself remained unheard until composer Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith
rerecorded it for Varèse Sarabande
Varèse Sarabande
in 1993. In 2007, Intrada Records released the 1968 recording sessions on CD from North's personal archives. North was also commissioned to write a jazz score for Nero Wolfe, a 1959 CBS-TV series based on Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe characters, starring William Shatner
William Shatner
as Archie Goodwin and Kurt Kasznar
Kurt Kasznar
as Nero Wolfe.[2] A pilot and two or three episodes were filmed, but the designated time slot was, in the end, given to another series.[3][4] North's unheard score for Nero Wolfe and six recorded tracks on digital audio tape are in the UCLA Music Library Special Collections.[5] He also wrote the music for various other television shows, such as the anthologies Climax!
Climax!
and Playhouse 90. Though North is best known for his work in Hollywood, he spent years in New York writing music for the stage; he composed the score, by turns plaintive and jarring, for the original Broadway production of Death of a Salesman. It was in New York that he met Elia Kazan (director of Salesman), who brought him to Hollywood in the '50s. North was one of several composers who brought the influence of contemporary concert music into film, in part marked by an increased use of dissonance and complex rhythms. But there is also a lyrical quality to much of his work which may be connected to the influence of Aaron Copland, with whom he studied. His classical works include two symphonies and a Rhapsody for Piano, Trumpet
Trumpet
obbligato and Orchestra. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for his score for the 1976 television miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man, and went on to score the sequel Rich Man, Poor Man Book II
Rich Man, Poor Man Book II
and the 1978 miniseries The Word. North is also known for his opening to the CBS
CBS
television anthology series Playhouse 90
Playhouse 90
and the 1965 ABC television miniseries FDR. In 2016, the Library of Congress added North's 1951 recording of his score to "A Streetcar Named Desire" to its National Recording Registry. Awards[edit] The American Film Institute
American Film Institute
ranked North's score for A Streetcar Named Desire #19 on their list of the greatest film scores. His scores for the following films were also nominated for the list:

Cleopatra
Cleopatra
(1963) The Misfits (1961) Spartacus
Spartacus
(1960) Viva Zapata!
Viva Zapata!
(1952) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
(1966)

North was nominated for fifteen Academy Awards
Academy Awards
throughout his career, one for Best Original Song, the rest in the Best Original Score category, making him the most-nominated composer to have never won. He was however awarded an Honorary Academy Award in 1986; he was the first composer to receive it.

Winner - Honorary Oscar for memorable achievement in a host of distinguished motion pictures (1986) Nominated - Under the Volcano
Under the Volcano
(1984) Nominated - Dragonslayer (1981) Nominated - Bite the Bullet (1975) Nominated - Shanks (1974) Nominated - The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968) Nominated - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
(1966) Nominated - The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) Nominated - Cleopatra
Cleopatra
(1963) Nominated - Spartacus
Spartacus
(1960) Nominated - The Rainmaker (1956) Nominated - Best Original Song (with Hy Zaret) Unchained Melody
Unchained Melody
(1955) Nominated - The Rose Tattoo (1955) Nominated - Viva Zapata!
Viva Zapata!
(1952) Nominated - Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman
(1951) Nominated - A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Golden Globe
Golden Globe
Awards for Original Score:

Winner - The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968) Nominated - Spartacus
Spartacus
(1960)

ASCAP
ASCAP
Award for Original Score:

Winner - Good Morning, Vietnam
Good Morning, Vietnam
(1987) Winner - Lifetime Achievement (1986)

Grammy Awards
Grammy Awards
for Original Score:

Nominated - Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) Nominated - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
(1966) Nominated - Cleopatra
Cleopatra
(1963)

Selected filmography[edit]

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman
(1951) Viva Zapata!
Viva Zapata!
(1952) Les Misérables (1952) Désirée (1954) Unchained (1955) The Rose Tattoo (1955) I'll Cry Tomorrow
I'll Cry Tomorrow
(1955) The Bad Seed (1956) The Rainmaker (1956) The King and Four Queens
The King and Four Queens
(1956) The Long, Hot Summer
The Long, Hot Summer
(1958) Stage Struck (1958) Hot Spell (1958) The Sound and the Fury (1959) The Wonderful Country (1959) Spartacus
Spartacus
(1960) The Misfits (1961) Sanctuary (1961) The Children's Hour (1961) All Fall Down (1962) Cleopatra
Cleopatra
(1963) Cheyenne Autumn
Cheyenne Autumn
(1964) The Outrage (1964) The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
(1966) The Devil's Brigade (1968) The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968) Hard Contract
Hard Contract
(1969) A Dream of Kings (1969) Willard (1971) Pocket Money
Pocket Money
(1972) Shanks (1974) Bite the Bullet (1975) Journey into Fear (1975) Somebody Killed Her Husband
Somebody Killed Her Husband
(1978) Wise Blood (1979) Carny (1980) Dragonslayer (1981) Under the Volcano
Under the Volcano
(1984) Prizzi's Honor
Prizzi's Honor
(1985) The Dead (1987) Good Morning, Vietnam
Good Morning, Vietnam
(1987) The Penitent (1988)

References[edit]

^ [1], Alex North Biography ^ The Billboard, April 20, 1959, pp. 38 + 40 ^ Shepard, Richard F., The New York Times, April 9, 1959 ^ Ewald, William F., Television in Review (syndicated column), April 9, 1959 ^ Wrobel, Bill, Film Score Rundowns, " CBS
CBS
Collection 072 UCLA," Blog 42, June 25, 2010. The film score researcher identifies 30 CBS
CBS
digital audio tapes in the UCLA Music Library Special
Special
Collections (p. 168), with tracks 86–91 of DAT #11 being the Nero Wolfe music of Alex North (p. 174). The score, CPN5912, is in Box #105 (p. 51).

External links[edit]

Biography portal

Alex North at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Alex North on IMDb Alex North website maintained by his family. Alex North at Find a Grave Unchained Melody
Unchained Melody
Publishing LLC is the publishing administrator for "Unchained Melody". Alex North papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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Academy Honorary Award

1928–1950

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
/ Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1928) Walt Disney
Walt Disney
(1932) Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
(1934) D. W. Griffith
D. W. Griffith
(1935) The March of Time
The March of Time
/ W. Howard Greene and Harold Rosson (1936) Edgar Bergen
Edgar Bergen
/ W. Howard Greene / Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
Film Library / Mack Sennett
Mack Sennett
(1937) J. Arthur Ball / Walt Disney
Walt Disney
/ Deanna Durbin
Deanna Durbin
and Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
/ Gordon Jennings, Jan Domela, Devereaux Jennings, Irmin Roberts, Art Smith, Farciot Edouart, Loyal Griggs, Loren L. Ryder, Harry D. Mills, Louis Mesenkop, Walter Oberst / Oliver T. Marsh and Allen Davey / Harry Warner
Harry Warner
(1938) Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
/ Judy Garland
Judy Garland
/ William Cameron Menzies / Motion Picture Relief Fund (Jean Hersholt, Ralph Morgan, Ralph Block, Conrad Nagel)/ Technicolor Company (1939) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Nathan Levinson (1940) Walt Disney, William Garity, John N. A. Hawkins, and the RCA Manufacturing Company / Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Stokowski
and his associates / Rey Scott / British Ministry of Information (1941) Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer
/ Noël Coward
Noël Coward
/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(1942) George Pal
George Pal
(1943) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Margaret O'Brien
Margaret O'Brien
(1944) Republic Studio, Daniel J. Bloomberg, and the Republic Studio Sound Department / Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
/ The House I Live In / Peggy Ann Garner (1945) Harold Russell
Harold Russell
/ Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
/ Ernst Lubitsch
Ernst Lubitsch
/ Claude Jarman Jr. (1946) James Baskett
James Baskett
/ Thomas Armat, William Nicholas Selig, Albert E. Smith, and George Kirke Spoor
George Kirke Spoor
/ Bill and Coo / Shoeshine (1947) Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
/ Monsieur Vincent
Monsieur Vincent
/ Sid Grauman
Sid Grauman
/ Adolph Zukor
Adolph Zukor
(1948) Jean Hersholt
Jean Hersholt
/ Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
/ Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
/ The Bicycle Thief (1949) Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
/ George Murphy
George Murphy
/ The Walls of Malapaga (1950)

1951–1975

Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
/ Rashomon
Rashomon
(1951) Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
/ Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Harold Lloyd
Harold Lloyd
/ George Mitchell / Joseph M. Schenck / Forbidden Games
Forbidden Games
(1952) 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation / Bell & Howell Company / Joseph Breen / Pete Smith (1953) Bausch & Lomb Optical Company / Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye
/ Kemp Niver / Greta Garbo / Jon Whiteley
Jon Whiteley
/ Vincent Winter / Gate of Hell (1954) Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1955) Eddie Cantor
Eddie Cantor
(1956) Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
/ Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson / Charles Brackett / B. B. Kahane (1957) Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier
(1958) Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
/ Lee de Forest
Lee de Forest
(1959) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
/ Stan Laurel
Stan Laurel
/ Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills
(1960) William L. Hendricks / Fred L. Metzler / Jerome Robbins
Jerome Robbins
(1961) William J. Tuttle
William J. Tuttle
(1964) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
(1965) Yakima Canutt
Yakima Canutt
/ Y. Frank Freeman
Y. Frank Freeman
(1966) Arthur Freed (1967) John Chambers / Onna White (1968) Cary Grant
Cary Grant
(1969) Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish
/ Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(1970) Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1971) Charles S. Boren / Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson
(1972) Henri Langlois
Henri Langlois
/ Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx
(1973) Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks
/ Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir
(1974) Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
(1975)

1976–2000

Margaret Booth (1977) Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
/ Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
/ King Vidor
King Vidor
/ Museum of Modern Art Department of Film (1978) Hal Elias / Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1979) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
(1980) Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
(1981) Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
(1982) Hal Roach
Hal Roach
(1983) James Stewart
James Stewart
/ National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
(1984) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
/ Alex North (1985) Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy
(1986) Eastman Kodak
Kodak
Company / National Film Board of Canada
National Film Board of Canada
(1988) Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
(1989) Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren
/ Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy
(1990) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1991) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1992) Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr
(1993) Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni
(1994) Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
/ Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones
(1995) Michael Kidd
Michael Kidd
(1996) Stanley Donen
Stanley Donen
(1997) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1998) Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda
(1999) Jack Cardiff
Jack Cardiff
/ Ernest Lehman (2000)

2001–present

Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
/ Robert Redford
Robert Redford
(2001) Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
(2002) Blake Edwards
Blake Edwards
(2003) Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet
(2004) Robert Altman
Robert Altman
(2005) Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(2006) Robert F. Boyle (2007) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
/ Roger Corman
Roger Corman
/ Gordon Willis
Gordon Willis
(2009) Kevin Brownlow / Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard
/ Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach
(2010) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
/ Dick Smith (2011) D. A. Pennebaker
D. A. Pennebaker
/ Hal Needham
Hal Needham
/ George Stevens Jr.
George Stevens Jr.
(2012) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
/ Steve Martin
Steve Martin
/ Piero Tosi (2013) Jean-Claude Carrière
Jean-Claude Carrière
/ Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki
/ Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
(2014) Spike Lee
Spike Lee
/ Gena Rowlands
Gena Rowlands
(2015) Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
/ Lynn Stalmaster / Anne V. Coates / Frederick Wiseman (2016) Charles Burnett / Owen Roizman / Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland
/ Agnès Varda (2017)

v t e

Golden Globe
Golden Globe
Award for Best Original Score

1940s

Life with Father – Max Steiner
Max Steiner
(1947) The Red Shoes – Brian Easdale (1948) The Inspector General – Johnny Green
Johnny Green
(1949)

1950s

Sunset Boulevard – Franz Waxman (1950) September Affair
September Affair
Victor Young
Victor Young
(1951) High Noon
High Noon
Dimitri Tiomkin
Dimitri Tiomkin
(1952) On the Beach – Ernest Gold (1959)

1960s

The Alamo – Dimitri Tiomkin
Dimitri Tiomkin
(1960) The Guns of Navarone – Dimitri Tiomkin
Dimitri Tiomkin
(1961) To Kill a Mockingbird – Elmer Bernstein
Elmer Bernstein
(1962) (1963) The Fall of the Roman Empire – Dimitri Tiomkin
Dimitri Tiomkin
(1964) Doctor Zhivago – Maurice Jarre
Maurice Jarre
(1965) Hawaii – Elmer Bernstein
Elmer Bernstein
(1966) Camelot – Frederick Loewe (1967) The Shoes of the Fisherman Alex North (1968) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Burt Bacharach
Burt Bacharach
(1969)

1970s

Love Story – Francis Lai (1970) Shaft – Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes
(1971) The Godfather
The Godfather
Nino Rota
Nino Rota
(1972) Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond
(1973) The Little Prince – Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe (1974) Jaws – John Williams
John Williams
(1975) A Star is Born – Kenneth Ascher, Paul Williams (1976) Star Wars – John Williams
John Williams
(1977) Midnight Express – Giorgio Moroder
Giorgio Moroder
(1978) Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now
– Carmine Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
(1979)

1980s

The Stunt Man
The Stunt Man
Dominic Frontiere (1980) (1981) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
John Williams
John Williams
(1982) Flashdance
Flashdance
Giorgio Moroder
Giorgio Moroder
(1983) A Passage to India – Maurice Jarre
Maurice Jarre
(1984) Out of Africa – John Barry (1985) The Mission – Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(1986) The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor
– David Byrne, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Cong Su (1987) Gorillas in the Mist
Gorillas in the Mist
Maurice Jarre
Maurice Jarre
(1988) The Little Mermaid – Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(1989)

1990s

The Sheltering Sky – Richard Horowitz, Ryuichi Sakamoto
Ryuichi Sakamoto
(1990) Beauty and the Beast – Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(1991) Aladdin – Alan Menken
Alan Menken
(1992) Heaven & Earth – Kitarō
Kitarō
(1993) The Lion King
The Lion King
Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
(1994) A Walk in the Clouds
A Walk in the Clouds
Maurice Jarre
Maurice Jarre
(1995) The English Patient – Gabriel Yared (1996) Titanic – James Horner
James Horner
(1997) The Truman Show – Burkhard Dallwitz, Philip Glass
Philip Glass
(1998) 1900 – Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(1999)

2000s

Gladiator – Lisa Gerrard, Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
(2000) Moulin Rouge! – Craig Armstrong (2001) Frida
Frida
Elliot Goldenthal
Elliot Goldenthal
(2002) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Howard Shore
Howard Shore
(2003) The Aviator – Howard Shore
Howard Shore
(2004) Memoirs of a Geisha – John Williams
John Williams
(2005) The Painted Veil – Alexandre Desplat
Alexandre Desplat
(2006) Atonement – Dario Marianelli (2007) Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire
A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman
(2008) Up – Michael Giacchino
Michael Giacchino
(2009)

2010s

The Social Network
The Social Network
– Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross
(2010) The Artist – Ludovic Bource
Ludovic Bource
(2011) Life of Pi – Mychael Danna (2012) All Is Lost Alex Ebert
Alex Ebert
(2013) The Theory of Everything – Jóhann Jóhannsson
Jóhann Jóhannsson
(2014) The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight
Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(2015) La La Land – Justin Hurwitz
Justin Hurwitz
(2016) The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water
- Alexandre Desplat
Alexandre Desplat
(2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 2657177 LCCN: n83174977 ISNI: 0000 0003 6854 3848 GND: 128962275 SELIBR: 228556 SUDOC: 061578312 BNF: cb138980284 (data) BIBSYS: 4002291 MusicBrainz: 1da369a4-7e66-4b30-8aa7-33426370347a BNE: XX1726

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