James Newton Howard is an acclaimed American composer who has written the music for more than 100 major Hollywood motion pictures with six Academy Award nominations for Best Score for 'The Prince of Tides' (1991), 'The Fugitive' (1993), 'My Best Friend's Wedding' (1998), 'The Village' (2005), 'Michael Clayton' (2008) and 'Defiance' (2009) plus two for Best Original Song for 'Look What Love Has Done' with Carole Bayer Sager, James Ingram and Patty Smyth from 'Junior' (1995) and the Grammy Award-nominated 'For the First Time' with Jud Friedman and Allan Rich from 'One Fine Day'. He won the Grammy for Best Visual Media Score with Hans Zimmer for 'The Dark Knight' (2008) and received three other Grammy nominations for Best Instrumental Composition for 'The Egg Travels' from 'Dinosaur' (2000) and the main title track from 'Signs' (2002) plus Best Visual Media Score for 'Blood Diamond' (2007). Born in Los Angeles to a musical family, he learned to play the piano as a child and went on to study at the Thatcher School, the Music Academy of the West in California and the University of South California School of Music. He was a member of a rock group named Mama Lion and then worked as a session musician with artists such as Harry Nilsson, Diana Ross and Ringo Starr. He toured as keyboardist with Elton John and did the string arrangements for his hits including 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart' and 'Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word'. He released a self-titled live album in 1974 and began to write for movies on 'Head Office' in 1985 and 'Wildcats', '8 Million Ways to Die', 'Tough Guys' and 'Nobody's Fool' in 1986. 'Pretty Woman' established him as a top film composer in 1990 and he went on to compose the music for films including 'The Fugitive' (1993), 'Waterworld' (1995), 'Runaway Bride' (1999), 'The Sixth Sense' (1999), 'King Kong' (2005) as well as 'The Hunger Games' and 'Fantastic Beasts' franchises. He wrote the theme for NBC's hit hospital series 'E.R.' and the single 'The Hanging Tree' featuring Jennifer Lawrence from 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' soundtrack which peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014. His 2018 feature film scores included 'Red Sparrow', 'The Nutcracker and the Four Realms' and 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of the Grindelwald'.