Leonard Rosenman was a Brooklyn-born film and television soundtrack composer. After service in the Pacific with the Army Air Forces in World War II, Rosenman earned a bachelor's degree in music from the University of California, Berkeley. He also studied composition with Arnold Schoenberg, Roger Sessions and Luigi Dallapiccola. He was a concert composer when his friend James Dean introduced him to director Elia Kazan, who asked him to write the score for East of Eden (1955), thus beginning his film career. He then composed the scores for Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Hell Is For Heroes (1962), Fantastic Voyage (1966) and A Man Called Horse (1970). He also wrote theme music and incidental music for such television series as The Twilight Zone (1959), Law of the Plainsman (1959-60), The Defenders (1961-65), Combat! (1962-1967), The Road West (1966-1967), Garrison's Gorillas (1967-68, starring Ron Harper), The Virginian (1967-69), Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969-1976) and Gibbsville (1976).
Rosenman composed the music soundtrack for the 1970 movie Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Originally, the score was to be composed by Jerry Goldsmith, as was the original Planet of the Apes (1968), but Franklin J. Schaffner convinced the studio heads at Twentieth Century Fox to pull Goldsmith from the project in favor of having him score Shaffner's then current film project, Patton, and he was ultimately replaced by Rosenman. After that break, Goldsmith returned for the third installment Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) and Tom Scott scored Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) before Rosenman was asked to compose the soundtrack for the final Apes movie, Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973).
He went on to compose the scores for such films as The Lord of the Rings (1978), The Jazz Singer (1980), Cross Creek (1983), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and RoboCop 2 (1990), and won two Academy Awards for 'Original Song Score and Adaptation' - Barry Lyndon (1975) and Bound for Glory (1976) - as well as nominations for 'Original Music Score' in 1983 and 1986. He also received Emmy Awards for TV movies Sybil (1976) and Friendly Fire (1979), and reunited with a former Apes star on the documentary Charlton Heston Presents the Bible (1997). After suffering with a degenerative brain condition, Leonard Rosenman died of a heart attack at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.
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- In Memorium - Leonard Rosenman, by Alan Maxwell - 'Simian Scrolls' #15 (2008)