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Marc Shaiman

Marc Shaiman

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 22, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Newark, New Jersey, USA Profession: composer, lyricist, music producer, musical director, arranger, pianist, actor, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Noted for his bouncy film scores that are a throwback to the heyday of the Tin Pan Alley composers, Marc Shaiman first gained prominence as the musical director for Bette Midler and her back-up singers, The Harlettes, in the mid-1970s. As a teenager, he had dropped out of high school and moved to NYC in the hopes of working with Midler. When her pianist, Barry Manilow, moved on, the Divine Miss M hired Shaiman and their careers have been intertwined since. He has worked on numerous stage shows with Midler, written special material for the artist and served as music supervisor on several of her films, notably "Beaches" (1988), to which he also contributed the song "Otto Titsling", and "For the Boys" (1991), for which he co-wrote the song "Dixie's Dream". He also scored Paul Mazursky's "Scenes From a Mall" (1991) and Hugh Wilson's "The First Wives Club" (1996), both starring Midler, and collaborated with her on the TV specials "Bette Midler's Mondo Beyondo" (HBO, 1988), "Bette Midler--Diva Las Vegas" (HBO, 1997) and "Jackie's Back!" (Lifetime, 1999).

Noted for his bouncy film scores that are a throwback to the heyday of the Tin Pan Alley composers, Marc Shaiman first gained prominence as the musical director for Bette Midler and her back-up singers, The Harlettes, in the mid-1970s. As a teenager, he had dropped out of high school and moved to NYC in the hopes of working with Midler. When her pianist, Barry Manilow, moved on, the Divine Miss M hired Shaiman and their careers have been intertwined since. He has worked on numerous stage shows with Midler, written special material for the artist and served as music supervisor on several of her films, notably "Beaches" (1988), to which he also contributed the song "Otto Titsling", and "For the Boys" (1991), for which he co-wrote the song "Dixie's Dream". He also scored Paul Mazursky's "Scenes From a Mall" (1991) and Hugh Wilson's "The First Wives Club" (1996), both starring Midler, and collaborated with her on the TV specials "Bette Midler's Mondo Beyondo" (HBO, 1988), "Bette Midler--Diva Las Vegas" (HBO, 1997) and "Jackie's Back!" (Lifetime, 1999).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Hairspray (2007)
3.
 Get Bruce (1999)
4.
 North (1994) Piano Player
5.
 Heart and Souls (1993) Piano Accompanist
6.
 Mr. Saturday Night (1992) Lucky Zinberg
7.
 Hot Shots! (1991) Piano Player
8.
 Scenes From a Mall (1991) Pianist
9.
 Addams Family, The (1991) Conductor
10.
 Broadcast News (1987) News Theme Writer
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began studying piano at an early age; never had formal music studies
:
Moved to New York City at age 16
:
Served as musical director/arranger for Bette Midler's live shows
1980:
Film debut as music arranger, "Divine Madness", a concert film starring Midler
1984:
Stage music-writing debut, "Gotta Getaway!" at Radio City Music Hall
1984:
Broadway acting debut, "Harlem Nocturne"
1987:
Feature acting debut, "Broadcast News"
1987:
First TV job as music director, "Women of the Night" (HBO)
:
Wrote special music for TV series, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC); first collaborations with Billy Crystal; received 1987 Emmy nomination
1988:
Was music supervisor on two films starring Midler, "Big Business" and "Beaches"
1989:
Association with Crystal led to the job of adapting songs for "When Harry Met Sally"; first collaboration with director Rob Reiner; also wrote two of the film's songs; served as producer along with Harry Connick Jr on Connick's resulting Grammy-winning album; received a Grammy nomination for Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal; would also receive Grammy nod for his arrangements accompanying the vocals of Connick's "We Are in Love" (1991)
1990:
First film score, Reiner's "Misery"
1991:
First collaboration with producer Scott Rudin, Barry Sonnenfeld's "The Addams Family"
1991:
Composed music for "Scenes From a Mall", starring Midler; was a song producer on "For the Boys" (also starring Midler), for which he co-wrote the song "Dixie's Dream"
1992:
Reteamed with Crystal on "City Slickers"; also first film with director Ron Underwood
1992:
Scored Crystal's feature directing debut, "Mr. Saturday Night"
1992:
Wrote special musical material for Crystal for "The 64th Annual Academy Awards" (ABC), earning an Emmy; had received an Emmy nomination for the previous year's awards
1993:
Garnered first Oscar nomination for song "A Wink and a Smile" (from "Sleepless in Seattle"), co-written with Ramsey McLean; performed by Connick
1993:
Reteamed with Rudin and Sonnenfeld for the sequel "Addams Family Values" and with Midler for "Hocus Pocus" (as song producer and arranger)
1993:
Credited as associate producer on "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit"
1993:
Reteamed with Underwood on "Heart and Souls"
1994:
Again collaborated with Underwood on "Speechless"
1995:
Earned Oscar nod for Best Original Comedy or Musical Score for Rob Reiner's "The American President"
1995:
Reteamed with Crystal on his sophomore directing effort, "Forget Paris"
1996:
Received Academy Award nomination for the score of "The First Wives Club", starring Midler and Goldie Hawn
1997:
Seventh film with Rudin, "In & Out"; co-wrote the song "Hail to Thee O Greenleaf High" with screenwriter Paul Rudnick
1998:
Picked up fourth Oscar nomination for the score of "Patch Adams"
1999:
Wrote the musical score for the animated "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut"; also contributed to the songs; shared a Best Original Song Academy Award nomination with Trey Parker for "Blame Canada"; film executive produced by Rudin
1999:
Collaborated with Eric Clapton on the score for Reiner's "The Story of Us"; also scored "The Out-of-Towners", featuring Hawn and Steve Martin
2000:
Penned the score for "Disney's The Kid"
2000:
With Scott Wittman, wrote the score for the stage musical version of John Waters' film "Hairspray"; performed in workshop; premiered on Broadway in summer 2002
2002:
Wrote the music for an original musical for ABC TV called "Livin' Dolls"; first TV-movie
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

His Web site is located at http://shaiman.filmmusic.com/

"I was a Bette Midler fanatic, cutting school to go to her concerts; walking up and down her street in Greenwich Village, hoping I'd see her face behind a window; watching her in concert and having fantasies of running down the aisle and jumping onstage and saying, 'I can play all of your arrangements really good' and her saying, 'Gee, you are good.'"

Yet when his "ultimate fantasy" of playing piano for Midler came true before he was 18 years old, "that was a double-edged sword too. I couldn't help wondering, 'Is it all downhill from here?'" --Marc Shaiman, quoted in The Advocate, April 2, 1996

"I don't find it grotesque for me to say that I'm hugely talented when it comes to music. I was gifted by God, I feel. I don't feel there's anything to be embarrassed about." --Shaiman quoted in Out, October 1997

"Well, scoring films wasn't something I solely dreamed about, any combination of show biz and music was. Broadway, records, arrangements, movies--I just loved all of it. So I didn't exclusively idolize Max Steiner and the others--I knew the names, and knew the movies and loved the music in them, but I also probably loved musicals most of all--it was what I was immersed in. When I moved to New York, I was working as a musical director for cabaret acts, and to a degree that's how I approach a movie; as if it were a singer, and I'm accompanying it--figuring out the best chord changes and melodies to support the singer." --Shaiman to Dan Goldwasser on SoundtrackNet (www.soundtrack.net), March 12, 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Scott Wittman. Director, lyricist. Together since c. 1979.

Family close complete family listing

father:
William Robert Shaiman.
mother:
Claire Shaiman.

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