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Overview for Nelson Riddle
Nelson Riddle

Nelson Riddle



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Also Known As: Died: October 6, 1985
Born: June 1, 1921 Cause of Death: cardiac arrest and kidney failure
Birth Place: Oradell, New Jersey, USA Profession: Music ... composer arranger


Academy Award-winning musician Nelson Riddle led quite a successful career contributing to the soundtracks of major motion pictures. Riddle began his entertainment career with his music featured in films like the Anne Baxter drama "The Blue Gardenia" (1953), the Yvonne De Carlo drama "Flame of the Islands" (1956) and the Frank Sinatra western "Johnny Concho" (1956). His music also appeared in the Jane Powell musical comedy "Girl Most Likely" (1958). Riddle was nominated for a Best Musical Contribution Primetime Emmy Award for "Our Town" in 1956 as well as for a Best Musical Contribution Primetime Emmy Award for "The Rosemary Clooney Show" in 1957. Riddle won a Music (Scoring: Original Song Score and Adaptation -or- Scoring: Adaptation) Academy Award for "The Great Gatsby" in 1974. In the sixties, Riddle's music continued to appear on the silver screen, including in films like the Robert Vaughn spy picture "The Spy in the Green Hat" (1966), the Adam West action movie "Batman: The Movie" (1966) and the dramatic adaptation "El Dorado" (1966) with John Wayne. Riddle's music was also featured in "The November Plan" (1976), the dramatic comedy "Harper Valley P.T.A." (1978) with Barbara Eden and the comedy "Goin' Coconuts" (1978) with Donny Osmond. His music was also featured in "Guyana: Cult of the D*mned" (1979). Riddle was most recently credited in "Wonder Boys" (2000) with Michael Douglas. Riddle passed away in October 1985 at the age of 64.


TLS ( 2006-05-03 )

Source: The Stars of Hollywood Forever: 1901-2006

Riddle began his career as a piano player. At fourteen, he played trombone with Tommy Dorsey and Bob Crosby's bands. After WWII, he worked for NBC Radio and went on to compose one of his best remembered hits, ‘Theme from Route 66.’ The song hit number 3 on the Billboard charts, one of the very first television themes to do so.

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