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Also Known As: Hans F Zimmer, Hans Florian Zimmer Died:
Born: September 12, 1957 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Germany Profession: composer, music producer, songwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though he began his career as a keyboardist for several late-1970s New Wave pop groups, Hans Zimmer used his pioneering blend of digital synthesizers and computer technology to become one of the most acclaimed and sought after film composers of his day. Following a brief, but productive partnership with composer Stanley Myers, Zimmer struck out on his own and carved a successful career that was highlighted by such early recognized work as "Rain Man" (1988), "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989) and "Thelma & Louise" (1991). Having quickly moved up the ranks, Zimmer became a go-to favorite for directors looking to add something different to the more standardized compositions offered by more classically trained composers. He reached the pinnacle of his career when he wrote the African-inspired rhythms for the hit animated feature, "The Lion King" (1994); the music from which long remained a signature for his unique stylings. From there, Zimmer seemed to be nominated for some major award or another every year, thanks to writing such memorable music for the films "Gladiator" (2000), "The Last Samurai" (2003) and "The Dark Knight" (2008). By the time of he created the critically lauded score to "Sherlock Holmes"...

Though he began his career as a keyboardist for several late-1970s New Wave pop groups, Hans Zimmer used his pioneering blend of digital synthesizers and computer technology to become one of the most acclaimed and sought after film composers of his day. Following a brief, but productive partnership with composer Stanley Myers, Zimmer struck out on his own and carved a successful career that was highlighted by such early recognized work as "Rain Man" (1988), "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989) and "Thelma & Louise" (1991). Having quickly moved up the ranks, Zimmer became a go-to favorite for directors looking to add something different to the more standardized compositions offered by more classically trained composers. He reached the pinnacle of his career when he wrote the African-inspired rhythms for the hit animated feature, "The Lion King" (1994); the music from which long remained a signature for his unique stylings. From there, Zimmer seemed to be nominated for some major award or another every year, thanks to writing such memorable music for the films "Gladiator" (2000), "The Last Samurai" (2003) and "The Dark Knight" (2008). By the time of he created the critically lauded score to "Sherlock Holmes" (2009), Zimmer had established himself as a premiere composer with well over 100 films to his credit.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Lightship, The (1985)
3.
 German Americans, The (2000) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved to London as a teenager
:
Worked as a record producer and wrote commercial jingles for Air-Edel Associates
:
Produced records for Tangerine Dream and The Buggles
:
Co-founded Lillie Yard Studio with Stanley Myers
1982:
First feature film as co-composer (with Myers), "Moonlighting"
1987:
First film as solo composer, "Double Exposure"
1987:
Produced the Oscar-winning score to "The Last Emperor"
1988:
Re-teamed with Myers to write the score for "The Nature of the Beast"
1988:
Earned first Academy Award nomination for Barry Levinson's "Rain Man"
1989:
Provided the underscore to Bruce Beresford's "Driving Miss Daisy"
1991:
Racked up music credits on such varied films as "Backdraft" and "Thelma and Louise"
1993:
Scored the music for "True Romance"
1994:
Won an Oscar for the African-inspired rhythms included on the soundtrack to Disney's animated "The Lion King"
1995:
Contributed music to the features "Crimson Tide" and "Something to Talk About"
1996:
Named head of music department at DreamWorks SKG
1996:
Nominated for third Academy Award for "The Preacher's Wife"
1997:
Stage version of "The Lion King" opened on Broadway
1997:
Received Oscar nomination for his score for "As Good As It Gets"
1998:
Scored the DreamWorks animated feature "The Prince of Egypt" and Terrence Malick's WWII drama "The Thin Red Line"
2000:
Wrote the underscore for the DreamWorks animated film "The Road to El Dorado"
2000:
Composed the music for DreamWorks' "Gladiator"; earned an Oscar nomination for Original Score
2001:
Scored the music for the blockbuster sequel "Hannibal"
2002:
Composed the music for "Black Hawk Down"
2003:
Joined last minute to score "Somethings Gotta Give"
2003:
Composed his 100th film "The Last Samurai"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score
2004:
Scored the music for "Spanglish"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score
2006:
Composed the music for Ron Howard's film adaptation of "The Da Vinci Code"; earned Grammy and Golden Globe nominations for Best Score
2006:
Scored the music for "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"; earned Grammy and Golden Globe nominations for Best Score
2008:
Composed (with James Newton Howard) the music score for "The Dark Knight"
2008:
Composed the music for "Frost/Nixon," an adaption of the Peter Morgan play; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score
2009:
Composed the music for Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes"; earned Oscar and Grammy nominations for Best Original Score
2010:
Composed music for the epic WWII miniseries "The Pacific" (HBO)
2010:
Composed the score for Christopher Nolan's "Inception"; earned a Grammy nomination for Best Score Soundtrack
2010:
Contributed music to the animated feature "Megamind"
2010:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score ¿ Motion Picture ("Inception")
2011:
Composed original music for the live action features "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" as well as the animated films "Kung Fu Panda 2" and "Rango"
2012:
Re-teamed with director Nolan as composer for "The Dark Knight Rises"
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Notes

Zimmer is a partner with Jay Rifkin in Media Ventures Entertainment Group.

"I have always looked at Hans as a resource that is far greater than just the unbelievably important, specific contribution of writing a score for a film, in how music will be used, how it will be conceived. I don't think we've had a screening of a piece of this movie ["The Road to El Dorado"], even in the very beginning of storyboarding, that Hans wasn't there as a collaborator and contributor." --DreamWorks SKG's Jeffrey Katzenberg on Zimmer, quoted in Los Angeles Times, December 15, 1998.

Zimmer on using music as subtext, working with Terrence Malick on "The Thin Red Line": "Seeing somebody get shot is less powerful than seeing the reactor on somebody else's face; observing it, experiencing it. I am that human reaction.

"I remember Terry saying, 'Write a sympathy theme. Write about what you would feel for your fellow man.' Things like that. Endless experiments." --in Los Angeles Times, December 15, 1998.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Suzanne Zimmer.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Jake Zimmer. Born on December 3, 1997.
daughter:
Zoe Zimmer.

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