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Also Known As: Randall Stuart Newman Died:
Born: November 28, 1943 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: composer, singer, arranger, orchestrator, pianist, conductor, screenwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Once dubbed the "Susan Lucci of the Oscars," singer-songwriter-film composer Randy Newman had been one of the most oft-nominated individuals at the Academy Awards without ever having won - that is, till he finally took home the award for his original song, "If I Didn't Have You" from "Monsters, Inc." (2001). Prior to courting the Oscars, Newman had been a popular writer of novelty songs that were both sardonic and catchy throughout the 1960s and 1970s. One of his most infamous was "Short People," which not only became his biggest hit, but also inspired enough contempt that the Maryland state legislature tried to make it illegal for the song to be played on radio. Though he had his start writing songs and themes for television and film, Newman would not be officially associated with scoring movies until he wrote the music for "Ragtime" (1981), which deviated wildly from his sarcastic ditties from a decade prior. Newman would go on to score the music and write songs for some of the biggest movies of the next two decades, including "The Natural" (1984), "Parenthood" (1989), "Toy Story" (1995), "A Bug's Life" (1998) and "Babe: Pig in the City" (1998). While all earned him Academy Award nominations, he...

Once dubbed the "Susan Lucci of the Oscars," singer-songwriter-film composer Randy Newman had been one of the most oft-nominated individuals at the Academy Awards without ever having won - that is, till he finally took home the award for his original song, "If I Didn't Have You" from "Monsters, Inc." (2001). Prior to courting the Oscars, Newman had been a popular writer of novelty songs that were both sardonic and catchy throughout the 1960s and 1970s. One of his most infamous was "Short People," which not only became his biggest hit, but also inspired enough contempt that the Maryland state legislature tried to make it illegal for the song to be played on radio. Though he had his start writing songs and themes for television and film, Newman would not be officially associated with scoring movies until he wrote the music for "Ragtime" (1981), which deviated wildly from his sarcastic ditties from a decade prior. Newman would go on to score the music and write songs for some of the biggest movies of the next two decades, including "The Natural" (1984), "Parenthood" (1989), "Toy Story" (1995), "A Bug's Life" (1998) and "Babe: Pig in the City" (1998). While all earned him Academy Award nominations, he became almost as famous for NOT winning as he did for the compositions themselves. But after 16 tries and finally winning the coveted statue, there had never been any doubt within the industry or with movie fans that Newman was one of the most revered and prolific film songwriters of all time.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
5.
 Leatherheads (2008)
7.
 Three Amigos! (1986) Singing Bush
8.
10.
 Great Streets (2000) Host ("Sunset Boulevard")
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1950:
Started taking piano lessons at age six
1959:
Wrote first songs at age 15
1960:
At age 17, became a contract song writer for Metro Music (part of Liberty)
1962:
First recorded song, "They Tell Me It's Summer," a B side sung by the Fleetwoods
1962:
First TV credit, penned an untitled saxophone instrumental for an episode of "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (CBS)
1964:
Contributed first song "Look at Me" to a Hollywood film "The Lively Set," co-written with Bobby Darin
1964:
Worked at the TV music library at 20th Century Fox; wrote music cues and themes for series produced by the studio
1967:
Joined Reprise Records as a recording artist
1968:
Released self titled debut album, which included the song "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today"
1970:
Conducted music for "Performance" (film released 1972)
1970:
Had first U.S. hit with Three Dog Night's recording of "Mama Told Me Not to Come"
1971:
Contributed an original song to "The Pursuit of Happiness"
1971:
Wrote first film score for Norman Lear's "Cold Turkey"
1977:
Had first commercial success with the song "Short People"; led to first gold record for album <i>Little Criminals</i>
1981:
Composed film score for Milos Forman's "Ragtime"; received first Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Original Score and Best Song ("One More Hour")
1983:
Released <i>Trouble in Paradise</i>, which included the hit single "I Love L.A."; song later used by the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium
1984:
Provided the lush underscore for Barry Levinson's "The Natural"; earned third Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score
1986:
Co-scripted "Three Amigos!" with Steve Martin and Lorne Michaels; also wrote three songs for film and provided voice for the singing bush
1988:
Released the album <i>Land of Dreams</i>
1989:
Wrote the song "I Love to See You Smile" for the Ron Howard film "Parenthood"; earned Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Original Song
1990:
Wrote the dramatic score to "Avalon," directed by Barry Levinson; earned fifth Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe nomination
1994:
Received Best Song Academy Award nomination for "Make Up Your Mind" from the Ron Howard film "The Paper"
1995:
Provided music for first all-computer-generated animated film "Toy Story"; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score and Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Song ("You've Got a Friend")
1995:
First composition for musical theater, "Faust"; project put on hold after second production in Chicago was met with mixed reviews; wrote the book as well as music and lyrics
1996:
Picked up ninth Academy Award nomination for the score to animated film "James and the Giant Peach"
1997:
Fired by director Wolfgang Petersen after completing the score for "Air Force One"; work was replaced by Jerry Goldsmith's score
1998:
Earned tenth Oscar nomination for Best Original Song "That'll Do" from "Babe: Pig in the City"
1998:
Composed the music for "A Bug's Life" and "Pleasantville"; earned Best Original Score Academy Award nominations for both films
1999:
Penned the lively score for animated sequel "Toy Story 2"; also wrote songs including "When She Loved You"; earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score
2001:
Earned 14th career Academy Award nomination for the song "A Fool in Love" from "Meet the Parents"
2002:
Won first Academy Award for the song "If I Didn't Have You" from animated film "Monsters, Inc."; also nominated for Best Original Score
2002:
Wrote the theme song of "Monk" (USA Network) titled "It's a Jungle out There"
2003:
Contributed on the soundtrack of "Seabiscuit"
2004:
Wrote music for comedy sequel "Meet the Fockers"
2006:
Scored animated film "Cars" and wrote the song "Our Town"; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song
2009:
Wrote music for Disney animated feature "The Princess and the Frog"; earned two Oscar nominations for Original Song for "Almost There" and "Down in New Orleans"; also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Song for "Down in New Orleans"
2010:
Composed score for "Toy Story 3"; earned Grammy nomination for Best Score Soundtrack
2012:
Announced as an inductee into the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University High School: Los Angeles , California -
University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

There is a Web site at www.randynewman.com

Because his father was in the US Army between 1944-46, the family moved frequently, living in New Orleans, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; and Mobile, Alabama. As a result, Newman's birthplace is often mistakenly said to be New Orleans.

As a child, Newman had four or five operations for crossed eyes.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

"I prefer making a little noise to being mellowed out. If I had to eliminate easy listening or heavy metal, I'd eliminate easy listening. If one thing had to go, I'd eliminate the sort of nice, mellow music to chew potato chips and talk to your friends by. I don't care for that too much. I like the edge to rock. Mostly, I admire people who say something." --Randy Newman quoted in Playboy, 1987.

"I know it's not the wisest thing to say when one is entering the field, but except for Stephen Sondheim and the occasional show like 'Falsettos', I don't think what's on Broadway today measures up to the past. Most television is better. To me there's no doubt about the fact that for years the best music has been rock-and-roll." --Newman to Stephen Holden in The New York Times, September 24, 1995.

"I always thought I'd do pictures. I had classical training and could do it, I thought. But, yeah, some trepidation because, I mean, they were strict. I'd have lunch at Fox where Lionel [Newman] and Jerry Goldsmith and Johnny Williams would be sitting around. I heard somebody say once, 'Oh, Beethoven's Emperor Concerto is a piece of shit.' It makes a kid a little nervous hearing that. They'd see a concert and be complaining: 'They never took the goddam mutes off.' So I'm listening to all this stuff, and my mouth drops open. It made you afraid to put a note down. Now I know, you know? Fuck it. It's just talk. As great as Johnny and Jerry are and were, there's room for others." --Newman quoted in The Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music Special Issue, January 15, 1997.

"My uncles were kinda different in the way they dealt with how I didn't go in for their kind of Hollywood music composing careers. Emil was always supportive. Alfred mysteriously kept telling me, 'Whatever you do, keep writing songs.' Lionel was nice but he could also be rough. At a family party in the 80s, he was playing some 1930s songs, and called out to me, 'Rand? Is this song yours?' I told him it wasn't, and he answered, 'I was wondering, because it doesn't have a melody.'" --Newman to Robert Koehler, quoted in Daily Variety, July 15, 1997.

"Randy Newman should be a happy man, but he seems steeped in bitterness. He is bitter because the music he writes for the movies (like the upbeat score for 'Toy Story' and the lush orchestration for 'Ragtime') sells better, and earns more recognition, than the biting songs he writes for himself, songs like 'Short People,' 'Rednecks' and 'Lonely at the Top.'" --From The New York Times, March 22, 2002.

"It was a bigger deal than I'd have thought. I was actually touched when the orchestra stood up and the people stood up. I was surprised at how moved I was." --Newman on the response when he received the Oscar in People^, 04/15/02

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Roswitha Newman. Boutique owner. Married in 1967; divorced in 1989; German; mother of Newman's three oldest sons; after divorce married architect Don Boss.
wife:
Roswitha Newman. Had two; survived him.
wife:
Gretchen Newman. Receptionist. Second wife; born c. 1960; married in October 1990; mother of Newman's two younger children.
wife:
Gretchen Newman. Survived her.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Irving Newman. Survived her.
father:
Irving Newman. Internist. Musician-turned-doctor; died of cancer in 1990.
mother:
Adele Newman. Died c. 1988.
mother:
Adele Newman. Has two others; survived him.
brother:
Alan Newman.
uncle:
Robert Newman. Divorced when Powell was young; mother raised her as a single parent.
uncle:
Robert Newman. Producer, executive. Born in 1903; died in 1982.
uncle:
Marc Newman. Has two sisters and a brother.
uncle:
Marc Newman. Agent. Born in 1908; died in 1980.
uncle:
Emil Newman. Composer, conductor. Born in 1910; died in 1984; earned one Oscar nomination.
uncle:
Emil Newman. Industrialist. Jewish.
uncle:
Lionel Newman. Composer, conductor. Born in 1916; died in 1989; had 11 Oscar nominations, sharing the 1969 Oscar for Best Score of a Musical Picture ("Hello, Dolly!"); was Mae West's accompaniest during the 1930s.
uncle:
Lionel Newman. Has four other siblings.
cousin:
David Newman. Has two.
cousin:
David Newman. Composer, conductor. Born in 1954; father, Alfred Newman; received 1997 Oscar nomination for the score of "Anastasia".
cousin:
Thomas Newman. Composer. Born in 1955; father, Alfred Newman; as of 1999, has received three Oscar nominations for his music scores.
cousin:
Thomas Newman. Had two; survived him.
cousin:
Maria Newman. Has two adopted daughters and an adopted son; also has served as foster mother to several others.
cousin:
Maria Newman. Composer, musician. Born c. 1962; father, Alfred Newman.
cousin:
Tim Newman. Had two others.
cousin:
Tim Newman. Music video director. Directed video of Newman's popular "I Love Los Angeles"; also directed videos for ZZ Top.
son:
Amos Newman. Record company executive. Born c. 1968; mother, Roswitha Newman.
son:
Amos Newman. Has three siblings.
son:
Erik Newman. Film executive. Born c. 1970; mother, Roswitha Newman.
son:
Erik Newman. Had nine siblings.
son:
John Newman. Briefly married to her first husband.
son:
John Newman. Born c. 1978; mother, Roswitha Newman.
son:
Patrick Newman. Born in 1992; mother, Gretchen Newman.
son:
Patrick Newman. Had three other.
daughter:
Alice Newman. Born c. 1993; mother, Gretchen Newman.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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