Lionel Newman was a conductor, pianist and film/television composer born in New Haven, Connecticut. He migrated to Hollywood in his teens, where he began conducting for impresario Earl Carroll and worked as the piano accompanist for Mae West. Newman joined 20th Century Fox as a rehearsal pianist and by 1959 had been promoted to Musical Director for Television. He was soon made vice president in charge of music for both television and features before promotion to senior vice president of all music for Twentieth Century Fox Films.

Lionel Newman's tenure with Twentieth Century Fox spanned 46 years during which he composed for TV shows including The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Adventures in Paradise, Daniel Boone, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Batman, The Time Tunnel, The Green Hornet, Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, Bracken's World (starring Linda Harrison), M*A*S*H, The New Perry Mason, Planet of the Apes (episode "The Interrogation"), The Fall Guy, After MASH and Mr. Belvedere.

Newman also supervised the musical soundtracks to a number of the Planet of the Apes films, uncredited. His over 200 film credits included Road House, Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell, Gorilla at Large, The Proud Ones, Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley's first movie), The Young Lions, The Sound and the Fury, Cleopatra, The Sand Pebbles, Doctor Dolittle (produced by Arthur P. Jacobs' APJAC Productions), The Omen, the original Star Wars trilogy and Alien. Marilyn Monroe requested that Newman be musical director for all of her films at Fox, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and There's No Business Like Show Business. He was nominated for an Academy Award eleven times starting in 1939, including for Let's Make Love jointly with Earle Hagen and for Doctor Dolittle, before finally winning for Hello Dolly! in 1969.

He received a certificate of merit for over one million network performances of his pop song, "Again", first introduced in the 1948 film Road House and also heard in his Planet of the Apes episode. He is credited as being instrumental in the careers of John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith, and his extended family of musical composers included his nephew Randy Newman. Lionel Newman retired in 1985 and died on 3 February 1989 from cardiac arrest.

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