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Richard M. Sherman

Richard M. Sherman

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Also Known As: Richard Morton Sherman, Dick Sherman Died:
Born: June 12, 1928 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: lyricist, composer, screenwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Together with his older brother, Robert, songwriter Richard M. Sherman was credited with penning some of the most beloved family-friendly tunes of all time, including the most played song ever, "It's a Small World (After All)." Born Richard Morton Sherman on June 12, 1928 in New York City, he was the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants Rosa and Al Sherman, a successful Tin Pan Alley songwriter. The family eventually relocated to Los Angeles, where Richard later performed with future composer André Previn at his high school graduation. After completing his college studies, Sherman and his older brother, who had just returned from serving in World War II, began what would be a long and fruitful career as a songwriting team. This was interrupted, however, when the younger Sherman was drafted into the military during the Korean War in 1953. The brothers resumed the partnership upon his return and soon after wrote the song "Tall Paul," which became a hit record for Annette Funicello in 1958. Shortly thereafter, the Sherman brothers began their more than 10-year association with Walt Disney, creating memorable scores for dozens of the company's films. While their first efforts were included in such family...

Together with his older brother, Robert, songwriter Richard M. Sherman was credited with penning some of the most beloved family-friendly tunes of all time, including the most played song ever, "It's a Small World (After All)." Born Richard Morton Sherman on June 12, 1928 in New York City, he was the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants Rosa and Al Sherman, a successful Tin Pan Alley songwriter. The family eventually relocated to Los Angeles, where Richard later performed with future composer André Previn at his high school graduation. After completing his college studies, Sherman and his older brother, who had just returned from serving in World War II, began what would be a long and fruitful career as a songwriting team. This was interrupted, however, when the younger Sherman was drafted into the military during the Korean War in 1953. The brothers resumed the partnership upon his return and soon after wrote the song "Tall Paul," which became a hit record for Annette Funicello in 1958. Shortly thereafter, the Sherman brothers began their more than 10-year association with Walt Disney, creating memorable scores for dozens of the company's films. While their first efforts were included in such family features as "The Absent-Minded Professor" (1961) and "The Parent Trap" (1961), the brothers did not truly come into their own until "The Sword and the Stone" (1963), an animated telling of the Arthurian legend. The following year, they enjoyed their greatest success with the lively and infectious score to "Mary Poppins" (1964), for which they shared Oscars for Best Score and Best Song ("Chim Chim Cheree"). Drawing on English music hall traditions, the Shermans composed several hummable melodies, among them, the tongue-twisting classic, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

The Shermans remained at Disney for the remainder of the decade, contributing songs to "That Darn Cat!" (1965), "The Jungle Book" (1967) and "The Aristocats" (1970). A rare non-Disney song, the title tune for United Artists' "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1968) earned them an Academy Award nomination. By the time, "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" (1971) was released, the siblings had severed their ties to Disney, though the film did earn them Oscar nominations for Best Song Score and Best Song ("The Age of Not Believing"). They renewed their affiliation with United Artists, scripting and scoring adaptations of "Tom Sawyer" (1973) and "Huckleberry Finn" (1974). Also in 1974, the Sherman brothers debuted as Broadway composers with an Andrews Sisters musical called "Over Here!" They were again nominated for Academy Awards for the lilting score and the title song from "The Slipper and the Rose" (1976). Two years later, Sherman and his brother were again among the nominees for "When You're Loved" from "The Magic of Lassie" (1978). In the years that followed, Sherman and his sibling also collaborated on songs for such animated projects as "Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland" (1990) and "The Tigger Movie" (2000). Even after the older Sherman moved to the U.K. in 2002, the irrepressible brothers continued to collaborate. When "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" became a musical on Broadway in 2005, Richard and Robert contributed a handful of new songs. In 2008, the Sherman brothers were awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush. The following year, they were the subject of the documentary "The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story" (2009), a fond remembrance of their remarkable careers. It was a partnership that would endure right up until the passing of older brother Robert in March 2012.

By Bryce Coleman

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began career as popular composer/lyricist working with brother Robert; wrote "Things I Might Have Been" for Kitty Wells
1953:
Served in the US Army in Korea
1958:
Co-wrote hit song "Tall Paul" for Annette Funicello
:
Formed Music World Publications
1960:
Began association with Walt Disney Studios
1961:
First screen credit as songwriter for "The Absent-Minded Professor"; co-written with his brother
1964:
Had biggest screen success with "Mary Poppins"; won two Academy Awards for Best Score and Best Song
1968:
Scored a rare non-Disney film, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"; garnered Oscar nomination for title song
1971:
Earned Academy Award nominations for Best Song and Best Scoring for "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"; last film collaboration with Walt Disney Company
1973:
Screenwriting debut, co-wrote Tom Sawyer"; also scored; song score nominated for an Oscar
1974:
Broadway debut as songwriter, "Over Here!", a musical starring Patty and Maxine Andrews
1976:
Co-scripted and scored "The Slipper and the Rose", a retelling of the Cinderella story released by Universal; nominated for Best Scoring and Best Song Academy Awards
1978:
Earned another Oscar nomination for the song "When You're Loved" from "The Magic of Lassie"
1990:
Wrote songs for the animated "Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland"
:
Completed the score for the as yet unreleased animated feature "The Mighty Kong" (lensed 1994-1996)
2000:
Wrote the song score for "The Tigger Movie"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Southern California: Los Angeles , California - 1945
Bard College: Annandale-on-Hudson , New York - 1949

Notes

Sherman and his brother also wrote "It's a Small World", the theme song of Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ursula Gluck. Married on July 6, 1957.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Al Sherman. Composer.
mother:
Rosa Sherman.
brother:
Robert B Sherman. Songwriter. Older, born on December 19, 1925; collaborator with his brother.
daughter:
Linda Sue Sherman.
son:
Gregory Francis Sherman.
daughter:
Victoria Lynn Sherman.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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