Henry Mancini

The son of Italian immigrants, Enrico Nicola Mancini was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, taking piano lessons from the age of twelve. His first performances were with his father in the immigrant band Sons of Italy and he went on to study at the famous Juilliard School of Music in New York. After serving in the US Army and playing in their band, he joined the re-formed Glenn Miller Orchestra as pianist and arranger before joining the music department at Universal Pictures in 1952. Over the next few years he contributed music to over 100 movies including 'Tarantula', 'This Island Earth' and 'The Benny Goodman Story' and received his first Academy Award nomination for 'The Glenn Miller Story'. In 1958 he left Universal to go it alone and had his first independent success with his music for the TV series 'Peter Gunn', the beginning of a long and productive partnership with director Blake Edwards which also included award-winning triumphs with 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' (including the hit single 'Moon River') and 'Days of Wine and Roses'. His other great movie scores included all the 'Pink Panther' films, 'The Great Race' and 'Victor/Victoria'. His TV themes include 'Thorn Birds', 'The Moneychangers', 'Remington Steele' and the 'Viewer Mail' theme for the 'Late Night With David Letterman' show. He released over 90 albums ranging from classical music to pop, performed concerts with symphony orchestras, toured regularly with Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis and became a titan of the easy listening music genre. He even made a cameo appearance in the American sitcom 'Frasier' before he died of cancer in 1994.

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