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(1912 - 2004)

David Raksin is well known for composing the soundtracks to the films Laura (1944), Forever Amber (1947) and Separate Tables (1958), the latter two receiving Oscar nominations for Best Score. A fourth, the remarkably sensual The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), has never received the attention it deserves.

Raksin has composed, arranged, orchestrated, and scored for hundreds of plays, movies, and television shows, also writing for ballet and the concert hall. Among his film credits are a surprising number of Westerns—Across the Wide Missouri (1951), Big Hand for the Little Lady(1966), and Will Penny (1968). He also scored the TV series, Wagon Train (1957) and the TV movie The Ghost of Flight 401 (1978).

One of the early films on which he served as arranger was Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936). Other films for which he is credited include The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1946) with Betty Grable, Daisy Kenyon and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), Pat and Mike (1952) with Tracy and Hepburn, and Twilight for the Gods (1958) with Henry Fonda and Joanne Woodward.

Raksin also wrote an autobiography, If I Say So Myself, which is awaiting publication.

-- Sandra Burlingame

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com

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