If music helps to make a movie, then Henry Mancini was the king of his trade. I’d venture to wager that most us, whether consciously or unconsciously, have either whistled one of his tunes or had it stuck in their head for a period of time.

Born Enrico Nicola Mancini on April 26, 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in West Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, he began his musical career at an early age. By the time he was eight years old, his father had taught him how to play the flute. By the time he was twelve, he had moved on to the piano and took up an interest in arranging. His formal training took place at New York’s Juilliard School of Music.

After leaving Juilliard in 1943, Henry Mancini spent some time in the armed forces and served in the Air Force during World War II. After the war was over, he hooked up with Glenn Miller and his orchestra as a piano player and arranger. Following that gig, he went on to play with Benny Goodman.

His introduction to composing movie scores came in 1952 when he joined Universal Studios. During the next six years, he lent his talents to over 100 films as either composer or arranger. In 1958, he decided to strike out on his own and go independent. It was then that he hooked up with famed director Blake Edwards who had an idea for a TV series by the name of Peter Gunn. The rest is history, by the time of his death in 1994, Mancini collaborated with Edwards another 26 times.

How’s this for a resume.

  • 18 Oscar nominations, 4 wins
  • 72 Grammy nominations – 20 wins
  • Golden Globe Award
  • Emmy award nominations
  • Recorded over 90 albums
  • Over 500 of his works published

    He also displayed his talents as an conductor of orchestra’s and usually played about 50 or so gigs a year. Some of the more famous orchestra’s that he led were:

  • The London Symphony Orchestra
  • The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
  • The Boston Pops
  • The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

    During his career, he was also called upon to give command performances to the Royal Family on four different occasions.

    Not one to work alone, he also combined his talents with other artists, most notably Johnny Mathis, James Galway (a tour in 1984) and Luciano Pavarotti.

    Before his death from cancer in 1994, Henry Mancini left scholarships and endowments at prestigious musical schools such as his alma mater, UCLA, USC and the American Federation of Music.

    Here’s a listing of films (same famous, some not) that Henry Mancini either wrote the score to or played a major role as composer.

    Married To It (1993)
    Son of the Pink Panther (1993)
    Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992)
    Switch (1991)
    Never Forget (1991)
    Fear (1990)
    Ghost Dad (1990)
    Peter Gunn (1989)
    Physical Evidence (1989)
    Welcome Home (1989)
    Sunset (1988)
    Justin Case (1988)
    Without a Clue (1988)
    If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium (1987)
    Blind Date (1987)
    Murder by the Book (1987)
    The Glass Menagerie (1987)
    A Fine Mess (1986)
    Basil-The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
    That's Life! (1986)
    Santa Claus (1985)
    Lifeforce (1985)
    That's Dancing! (1985)
    Harry and Son (1984)
    Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
    The Man Who Loved Women (1983)
    Second Thoughts (1983)
    Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)
    Victor/Victoria (1982)
    Better Late Than Never (1982)
    Mommie Dearest (1981)
    Condorman (1981)
    S.O.B. (1981)
    Back Roads (1981)
    A Change of Seasons (1980)
    Little Miss Marker (1980)
    The Shadow Box (1980)
    10 (1979)
    The Prisoner of Zenda (1979)
    The Best Place to Be (1979)
    Nightwing (1979)
    Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978)
    Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
    A Family Upside Down (1978)
    Funny Business (1978)
    House Calls (1978)
    Angela (1977)
    Charlie's Angels (1976)
    Alex and the Gypsy (1976)
    The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
    Silver Streak (1976)
    W.C. Fields and Me (1976)
    The Blue Knight (1975)
    The Great Waldo Pepper (1975) 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974)
    The Girl from Petrovka (1974)
    Return of the Pink Panther (1974)
    That's Entertainment! (1974)
    The White Dawn (1974)
    Visions of Eight (1973)
    Oklahoma Crude (1973)
    The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973)
    Frenzy (1972)
    Sometimes a Great Notion (1971)
    Sunflower (1970)
    Darling Lili (1970)
    The Hawaiians (1970)
    The Molly Maguires (1970)
    The Night Visitor (1970)
    Carte Blanched (1969)
    Pierre and Cottage Cheese (1969)
    French Freud (1969)
    Gaily, Gaily (1969)
    Me, Natalie (1969)
    The Party (1968)
    Transylvania Mania (1968)
    The Shooting of Caribou Lou (1967)
    Wait Until Dark (1967)
    Two for the Road (1967)
    Gunn (1967)
    That's No Lady, That's Notre Dame (1966)
    Arabesque (1966)
    Moment to Moment (1966)
    What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966)
    The Great Race (1965)
    A Man's Favorite Sport? (1964)
    Carol for Another Christmas (1964)
    Dear Heart (1964)
    A Shot in the Dark (1964)
    Charade (1963)
    The Pink Panther (1963)
    Soldier in the Rain (1963)
    Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962)
    Experiment in Terror (1962)
    Hatari! (1962)
    Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
    Bachelor in Paradise (1961)
    Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
    The Great Impostor (1960)
    High Time (1960)
    Operation Petticoat (1959)
    Touch of Evil (1958)
    The Big Beat (1958)
    Damn Citizen (1958)
    Flood Tide (1958)
    Girls on the Loose (1958)
    Live Fast, Die Young (1958)
    The Restless Years (1958)
    Summer Love (1958)
    The Thing That Couldn't Die (1958)
    This Happy Feeling (1958)
    Voice in the Mirror (1958)
    Joe Dakota (1957)
    Kelly and Me (1957)
    Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm, (1957)
    Man Afraid (1957)
    Mister Cory (1957)
    The Night Runner (1957)
    The Tarnished Angels (1957)
    Behind the High Wall (1956)
    A Day of Fury (1956)
    Francis in the Haunted House (1956)
    The Kettles in the Ozarks (1956)
    Outside the Law (1956)
    Rock, Pretty Baby (1956)
    World in My Corner (1956)
    The Far Country (1955)
    Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops (1955)
    Ain't Misbehavin' (1955)
    The Benny Goodman Story (1955)
    Foxfire (1955)
    The Man from Bitter Ridge (1955)
    One Desire (1955)
    The Private War of Major Benson (1955)
    The Second Greatest Sex (1955)
    Six Bridges to Cross (1955)
    Smoke Signal (1955)
    The Spoilers (1955)
    The Square Jungle (1955)
    Tarantula (1955)
    Rails Into Laramie (1954)
    Saskatchewan (1954)
    The Glenn Miller Story (1954)
    Bengal Brigade (1954)
    Black Horse Canyon (1954)
    Destry (1954)
    Fireman Save My Child (1954)
    Four Guns to the Border (1954)
    Johnny Dark (1954)
    Ma and Pa Kettle at Home (1954)
    So This Is Paris (1954)
    This Island Earth (1954)
    Yankee Pasha (1954)
    The Yellow Mountain (1954)
    The Veils of Baghdad (1953)
    The All American (1953)
    All I Desire (1953)
    It Came from Outer Space (1953)
    It Happens Every Thursday (1953)
    Law and Order (1953)
    Lone Hand (1953)
    Back at the Front (1952)
    Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952)
    Lost in Alaska (1952)
    The Raiders (1952)


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