John Williams life and biography

John Williams picture, image, poster

John Williams biography

Date of birth : 1932-02-08
Date of death : -
Birthplace : New York City, New York, US
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-12-10
Credited as : Film music composer , pianist, harry Potter soundtrack

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The most popular film composer of the modern era, John Williams created music for some of the most successful motion pictures in Hollywood history -- Star Wars, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, and Jurassic Park are just three of the credits in his extensive oeuvre. Born February 8, 1932, in Long Island, NY, he was himself the son of a movie studio musician, and he followed in his father's footsteps by studying music at UCLA and Juilliard; initially, he pursued a career as a jazz pianist, later working with Henry Mancini to compose the score for the hit television series Peter Gunn. Williams then went solo to pen a number of TV soundtracks for series including Playhouse 90, Wagon Train, and Bachelor Father; in 1959 he ventured into film with Daddy-O, and spent the majority of the 1960s alternating between the silver screen (The Killers, The Plainsman) and its smaller counterpart (Gilligan's Island, Lost in Space).

In 1968 Williams earned his first Academy Award nomination for his work in Valley of the Dolls; in 1970, he garnered nods for both The Reivers and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and two years later finally won for Fiddler on the Roof. A slew of Oscar nominations followed, for features including The Poseidon Adventure, Images, Tom Sawyer, and The Towering Inferno. In 1974 he first teamed with a young filmmaker named Steven Spielberg on a movie titled The Sugarland Express; the two frequently reteamed over the years to come, with often stunning results -- Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Jurassic Park, and Schindler's List were just a few of the Spielberg/Williams pairings, with Jaws, E.T., and Schindler's List all winning the composer Academy Awards.

Williams' other most frequent collaborator was George Lucas; beginning with 1977's Star Wars -- yet another Williams Oscar winner -- they later teamed for 1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi, with the composer agreeing to score Lucas' subsequent Star Wars films as they went into production in 1997. He even celebrated his 30th anniversary of working with Steven Spielberg with 2002's Minority Report soundtrack. Other scores of note included 1979's Superman, 1987's The Witches of Eastwick, 1988's The Accidental Tourist, 1991's JFK, and 1995's Nixon. In 1980, Williams also took over for the late Arthur Fiedler as the conductor of the Boston Pops.

Film scores:

* Because They're Young (1961)
* I Passed for White (1960)
* The Secret Ways (1961)
* Bachelor Flat (1962)
* Diamond Head (1963)
* Gidget Goes to Rome (1963)
* The Killers (1964)
* None But the Brave (1965)
* The Rare Breed (1966)
* John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (1965)
* Valley of the Dolls (1967) Oscar nomination (songs written by André and Dory Previn)
* A Guide for the Married Man (1967)
* Fitzwilly (1967)
* How to Steal a Million (1968)
* Heidi (1968)
* The Reivers (1969) Oscar nomination
* Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) Oscar nomination

* Storia di una donna (1970) His only score written for a foreign movie
* Jane Eyre (1970)
* Fiddler on the Roof (1971) Oscar winner (score adaptation)
* Images (1972) Oscar nomination
* The Poseidon Adventure (1972) Oscar nomination
* The Cowboys (1972)
* Cinderella Liberty (1973) Oscar nomination
* The Long Goodbye (1973), also title song.
* The Paper Chase (1973)
* Tom Sawyer (1973) Oscar nomination shared with Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman
* The Towering Inferno (1974) Oscar nomination
* Earthquake (1974)
* The Sugarland Express (1974)
* Jaws (1975) Golden Globe, BAFTA and Oscar winner
* The Eiger Sanction (1975)
* Family Plot (1976)
* Midway (1976)
* The Missouri Breaks (1976)
* Black Sunday (1977)
* Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) Oscar, Golden Globe & BAFTA winner
* Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) Oscar nomination
* Jaws 2 (1978)
* The Fury (1978)
* Superman (1978) Oscar nomination and double Grammy nominations
* 1941 (1979)
* Dracula (1979)

* Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Oscar and double Grammy nominations, BAFTA winner
* Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Oscar and double Grammy nominations
* Heartbeeps (1981)
* E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Golden Globe, Oscar, and BAFTA winner (soundtrack)
* Yes, Giorgio (1982) Song only - "If We Were In Love" Oscar and Golden Globe nomination
* Monsignor (1982)
* Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) Oscar nomination
* Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Oscar nomination
* The River (1984) Oscar nomination
* SpaceCamp (1986)
* Empire of the Sun (1987) Oscar nomination, BAFTA winner
* Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) Adapted and conducted by Alexander Courage
* The Witches of Eastwick (1987) Oscar nomination
* The Accidental Tourist (1988) Oscar nomination
* Born on the Fourth of July (1989) Oscar nomination
* Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Oscar nomination
* Always (1989)

* Stanley & Iris (1990)
* Presumed Innocent (1990)
* Home Alone (1990) double Oscar nominations
* Hook (1991) Grammy and Oscar nominations
* JFK (1991) Oscar nomination
* Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
* Far and Away (1992)
* Jurassic Park (1993)
* Schindler's List (1993) Oscar, Grammy, and BAFTA winner
* Nixon (1995) Oscar nomination
* Sabrina (1995) double Oscar nominations
* Sleepers (1996) Oscar nomination
* Rosewood (1997)
* The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
* Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
* Amistad (1997) Grammy and Oscar nominations
* Stepmom (1998)
* Saving Private Ryan (1998) Golden Globe, Grammy, and Oscar nominations
* Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) Grammy nomination
* Angela's Ashes (1999) Grammy and Oscar nomination

* The Patriot (2000) Oscar nomination
* A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001) Grammy and Oscar nominations
* Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) Oscar nomination and double Grammy nominations
* Catch Me if You Can (2002) Oscar nomination
* Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
* Minority Report (2002)
* Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) Grammy nomination/Adapted and conducted by William Ross
* Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) Grammy and Oscar nominations (soundtrack)
* The Terminal (2004)
* Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) double Grammy nominations
* War of the Worlds (2005) Grammy nomination
* Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) Oscar Nomination, Grammy, Golden Globe, and BAFTA winner
* Munich (2005) Oscar nomination, Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition; and Grammy nomination for Best Score Soundtrack Album
* Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) At the 51st Grammy Awards, John Williams won an award for the Mutt Williams theme


* The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (2011)
* War Horse (2011)
* Lincoln (2012)

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