Henry Mancini


Henry Mancini first found success with his music for television’s PETER GUNN and almost immediately became a sought-after film composer, winning a pair of Oscars for the BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’s score and its song “Moon River.”

Mancini’s boundless gift for melody resulted in memorable theme songs for such films as DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, CHARADE and TWO FOR THE ROAD, all of which became popular outside of their original movie contexts. His shrewd understanding of the record business also enabled him to achieve success with nearly two dozen soundtrack and popular-music albums throughout the 1960s and ’70s. He won 20 Grammy Awards and was nominated another 50 times.

His long professional association with director Blake Edwards became the longest-running composer-director collaboration in Hollywood, spanning more than two dozen films over three decades, including the seven PINK PANTHER movies and such popular successes as “10” and the Oscar-winning musical VICTOR/VICTORIA.

Mancini’s success in the light-comedy and romantic realms belied his abilities as a dramatic composer, as evidenced by his suspenseful music for EXPERIMENT IN TERROR and WAIT UNTIL DARK; the melancholy Irish colors of THE MOLLY MAGUIRES, the whaling music of THE WHITE DAWN and the grimly powerful score for the science-fiction LIFEFORCE. Beloved by everyone who knew and worked with him, he died of cancer in 1994.

–Jon Burlingame