Franz Waxman

Franz Waxman

Chorzów, Miasto Chorzów, Śląskie, Poland
Death 24 Feb 1967 (aged 60)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Hall of Solomon (Beth Olam Mausoleum), Foyer O, T-5, N-1
Memorial ID 7936823 · View Source
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Composer. One of Hollywood's leading creators of movie music. Although adept at writing lush romantic tunes, his overall style is darker and more sophisticated in approach. Waxman particularly excelled at scoring psychological dramas and thrillers, including four Alfred Hitchcock films. He won Academy Awards for "Sunset Boulevard" (1950) and "A Place in the Sun" (1951), out of 12 nominations. His "Carmen Fantasy" for violin and orchestra, from the film "Humoresque" (1946), became a popular concert piece. Born Franz Wachsmann in Konigshutte, Germany (now Chorzow, Poland), he took piano lessons as a child. At 17 he quit his job as a bank teller and studied at the Dresden Academy of Music and the Berlin Conservatory, supporting himself by playing piano in cafes and nightclubs. He entered films with UFA as the arranger of Frederick Hollander's score for "The Blue Angel" (1930). In 1934, after getting beaten up on a Berlin street by a gang of anti-Semites, Waxman moved to Paris and settled in Hollywood the following year. His imaginative score for "The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935) established his reputation. From 1936 to 1943 he was under contract at MGM, where he wrote the brief fanfare (incorporating Leo the Lion's roars) that introduced most of that studio's films for over a decade. Later he worked mainly for Warner Bros. and Paramount. Along with Herbert Stothart, Waxman provided additional music for "Gone With the Wind" (1939), though Max Steiner received sole credit. In all he scored some 150 films, including "Liliom" (in Germany, 1933), "Magnificent Obsession" (1935), "Fury" (1936), "Captains Courageous" (1937), "A Day at the Races" (1937), "A Christmas Carol" (1938), "The Philadelphia Story" (1940), "Rebecca" (1940), "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1941), "Suspicion" (1941), "Woman of the Year" (1942), "Air Force" (1943), "Possessed" (1947), "Dark Passage" (1947), "The Paradine Case" (1948), "Sorry Wrong Number" (1948), "Night and the City" (1950), "He Ran All the Way" (1951), "My Cousin Rachel" (1952), "Come Back, Little Sheba" (1952), "Stalag 17" (1953), "Rear Window" (1954), "Mister Roberts" (1955), "The Spirit of St. Louis" (1957), "Love in the Afternoon" (1957), "Sayonara" (1957), "Peyton Place" (1957), "The Nun's Story" (1959), "Cimarron" (1960), "Taras Bulba" (1962), and "Lost Command" (1966). Waxman also had a respected career as a composer-conductor outside the Hollywood sphere. In 1947 he founded the Los Angeles International Music Festival, which premiered works by Stravinsky, Vaughan Williams, and Shostakovich, as well as his own compositions. After the "Carmen Fantasy", his best-known concert piece is "The Song of Terezin" (1965). He died of cancer at 60.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: TLS
  • Added: 30 Sep 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7936823
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Franz Waxman (24 Dec 1906–24 Feb 1967), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7936823, citing Hollywood Forever, Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .