Victor Young


Composer, Music Director

About

Also Known As
Victor Popular Young
Birth Place
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Born
August 08, 1900
Died
November 10, 1956
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

A remarkably prolific composer, Victor Young wrote songs and underscoring that appeared in hundreds of films which earned him 22 Academy Award nominations during his relatively short career. Although Young died after only twenty years in the business, romance standards like "When I Fall in Love," "Stella By Starlight" and "Love Letters" kept him alive in film credits long past 1956.The s...

Family & Companions

Rita Young
Wife
Died in 1962.

Biography

A remarkably prolific composer, Victor Young wrote songs and underscoring that appeared in hundreds of films which earned him 22 Academy Award nominations during his relatively short career. Although Young died after only twenty years in the business, romance standards like "When I Fall in Love," "Stella By Starlight" and "Love Letters" kept him alive in film credits long past 1956.

The son of a tenor with the Chicago Opera, Young proved a child prodigy, beginning to play the violin at age six. About four years later, following the death of their mother, the young boy and his sister Helen were sent to live with their grandfather in Poland. Although he was a tailor of meager means, Young's grandfather recognized his charges' musical potential and managed to send them both to study at the Warsaw Conservatory of Music. While still a teenager, Young made his debut as a concert violinist at the Warsaw Philharmonic before moving on to tours of Europe and the United States. The classically trained musician proved a remarkably adept composer of popular tunes. His memorable melodies were big hits in his day and live on as durable standards, songs that remain part of every nightclub singer's repertoire to the present. Young had his first hit with 1928's "Sweet Sue, Just You," and would later find success matching his melodies with evocative scoring, becoming a prolific and respected film composer.

In 1936 Young began working for Paramount Pictures, first as a musical director and soon as the studio's chief composer and arranger, scoring and arranging nearly 100 feature films there. His ability and versatility were proven with his flawless work on such disparate efforts as the large scale Western "Wells Fargo" (1937), the zany Preston Sturges comedy "The Palm Beach Story (1942) and the Raymond Chandler-penned suspenseful drama "The Blue Dahlia" (1946). Young's notable Paramount features also include his magnificent scoring of the 1943 war drama "For Whom the Bell Tolls," the atmospheric accompaniment to Fritz Lang's "Ministry of Fear" (1944), his melodic and heart-wrenching music for the moving melodrama "To Each His Own" (1946) and the unforgettable score for "Shane" (1953). His capabilities as a film composer, and particularly as a memorable theme writer, could often make an otherwise unremarkable movie noteworthy, as was the case with 1945's "Love Letters," largely uninspired aside from Young's romantic title tune.

Remarkably prolific, the composer's credit appeared in dozens of films for studios other than Paramount. Young did outstanding work at Republic Pictures, his compositions including the dulcet theme for "Rio Grande" (1950), the lilting take on traditional music for "The Quiet Man" (1952), and the dramatic scoring for the flamboyant Western "Johnny Guitar" (1954). His work for other studios also won him several Oscar nominations, including the original score to Columbia Pictures' "Golden Boy" (1939), and the title songs of both "My Foolish Heart" (RKO, 1950) and "Written on the Wind" (Universal, 1956)--both of which also proved top chart hits.

The composer teamed up with various lyricists during his career, most frequently and most notably with Ned Washington, who put words to Young's classics including "My Foolish Heart" and "Stella by Starlight." Other lyric contributors include Arthur Freed, writer of "Wells Fargo," and "Love Letters" lyricist Edward Heyman. In addition to his busy film career, the composer won an Emmy Award for his work as musical director of the special "Light's Diamond Jubilee" (1954), a television celebration of Edison's invention of the light bulb that aired on the then-four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Dumont). He was also the musical director of "The Milton Berle Show" (NBC, 1955-56). After his 1956 death, Young finally won an Academy Award for that year's sublime score to "Around the World in 80 Days."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Eloise at Christmastime (2004)
Mr. Peabody
The Reagans (2003)
Alfred Bloomingdale
Eloise at the Plaza (2003)
Mr. Peabody
Serendipity (2001)
Mr Buchanan
Laughter on the 23rd Floor (2001)
Harley
Sex & Mrs. X (2000)
Francois
Escape Clause (1996)
Andre Willard
Mrs. Winterbourne (1996)
Dr Hopley
Visitors of the Night (1995)
Dr Pandro
Terror on Track 9 (1992)
Raoul
I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991)
Nice Man
Easy Prey (1986)
Norman
The Hawaiians (1970)
America at 16
Of Men and Music (1951)
Walter Wanger's Vogues of 1938 (1937)
and his Orchestra

Music (Feature Film)

Widows (2018)
Song
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)
Music
Logan (2017)
Song
Phantom Thread (2017)
Song
The Master (2012)
Song
Ginger & Rosa (2012)
Song
Killing Them Softly (2012)
Song
The Two Mr. Kissels (2008)
Song Performer
The Wrecking Crew (2008)
Song
Slipstream (2007)
Song Performer
Slipstream (2007)
Song
Thank You for Smoking (2006)
Music
Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
Composer
Breakfast on Pluto (2005)
Song Performer
Romance and Cigarettes (2005)
Song
Melinda and Melinda (2004)
Song
Uncle Frank (2003)
Song
Domestic Disturbance (2001)
Song
Sweet and Lowdown (1999)
Song
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Song
Snow Day (1999)
Song ("Love Letters")
A Night at the Roxbury (1998)
Song
Primary Colors (1998)
Song
Falling For You (1995)
Song
Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)
Song
A Good Man in Africa (1994)
Song
Radio Inside (1994)
Song
Judith Krantz's "Torch Song" (1993)
Song
Sleepless In Seattle (1993)
Song
Whispers in the Dark (1992)
Song
The Long Day Closes (1992)
Music Composer
The Butcher's Wife (1991)
Song
The Marrying Man (1991)
Song
Innisfree (1990)
Music
Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989)
Song
See You in the Morning (1989)
Song
New York Stories (1989)
Song
Let's Get Lost (1988)
Song
Everybody's All-American (1988)
Song
Broken Noses (1987)
Song
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Song
Mona Lisa (1986)
Song
Blue Velvet (1986)
Song ("Love Letters")
Friday the 13th, Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984)
Song ("Stella By Starlight")
Terms Of Endearment (1983)
Music
Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)
Song
Paternity (1981)
Song
They All Laughed (1981)
Song
The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963)
Composer
Where the Boys Are (1960)
Composer
Seven Hills of Rome (1958)
Composer
As Young as We Are (1958)
Composer
Outcasts of the City (1958)
Composer
The Buster Keaton Story (1957)
Music Score
China Gate (1957)
Music
Run of the Arrow (1957)
Music
Omar Khayyam (1957)
Music Score
Omar Khayyam (1957)
Composer
Istanbul (1957)
Composer
China Gate (1957)
Composer
Forty Guns (1957)
Composer
Written on the Wind (1957)
Composer
The Conqueror (1956)
Music
Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
Music
The Brave One (1956)
Music
The Proud and Profane (1956)
Music Score
The Vagabond King (1956)
Music Score
The Maverick Queen (1956)
Music
The Maverick Queen (1956)
Composer
The Country Girl (1955)
Music Score
Strategic Air Command (1955)
Music Score
Son of Sinbad (1955)
Music
Timberjack (1955)
Music
The Left Hand of God (1955)
Music
A Man Alone (1955)
Music
The Tall Men (1955)
Music
Timberjack (1955)
Composer
Strategic Air Command (1955)
Composer
Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)
Music
About Mrs. Leslie (1954)
Music Score
Forever Female (1954)
Music Score
Jubilee Trail (1954)
Music
Knock on Wood (1954)
Music Director
Trouble in the Glen (1954)
Music Score
Johnny Guitar (1954)
Music
Flight Nurse (1954)
Music
Drum Beat (1954)
Music
Sea of Lost Ships (1954)
Composer
Drum Beat (1954)
Composer
Jubilee Trail (1954)
Composer
Geraldine (1954)
Composer
Johnny Guitar (1954)
Composer
Shane (1953)
Music Score
A Perilous Journey (1953)
Music
Little Boy Lost (1953)
Music Score
The Sun Shines Bright (1953)
Music
Fair Wind to Java (1953)
Music
The Stars Are Singing (1953)
Music Director
Tanga Tika (1953)
Composer
Peter Pan (1953)
Composer
A Perilous Journey (1953)
Composer
Woman They Almost Lynched (1953)
Composer
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Music Score
One Minute to Zero (1952)
Music
The Story of Will Rogers (1952)
Original Music
Something to Live For (1952)
Music Score
Scaramouche (1952)
Music
The Quiet Man (1952)
Music
Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952)
Music
Thunderbirds (1952)
Music
Anything Can Happen (1952)
Music Score
The Star (1952)
Music Composition and Conducting
Loan Shark (1952)
Composer
One Minute to Zero (1952)
Composer
Anything Can Happen (1952)
Composer
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Composer
The Fabulous Senorita (1952)
Composer
The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)
Music Score
Belle Le Grand (1951)
Music
The Wild Blue Yonder (1951)
Music
September Affair (1951)
Music Score
A Millionaire for Christy (1951)
Music comp and Director
My Favorite Spy (1951)
Music Score
Honeychile (1951)
Music Score
Payment on Demand (1951)
Music
Bullfighter and the Lady (1951)
Music
Appointment with Danger (1951)
Music Score
A Millionaire for Christy (1951)
Composer
The Wild Blue Yonder (1951)
Composer
Riding High (1950)
Music Director
Our Very Own (1950)
Music
Bright Leaf (1950)
Music
Rio Grande (1950)
Music Score
Gun Crazy (1950)
Music
Samson and Delilah (1950)
Music Director
My Foolish Heart (1950)
Music
Paid in Full (1950)
Music Score
The Fireball (1950)
Music comp and Director
The File on Thelma Jordon (1950)
Music Score
Gun Crazy (1950)
Composer
My Foolish Heart (1950)
Composer
Paid in Full (1950)
Composer
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949)
Music Score
Song of Surrender (1949)
Music Score
The Accused (1949)
Music Score
Streets of Laredo (1949)
Music Score
Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
Music
Chicago Deadline (1949)
Music Score
Song of Surrender (1949)
Composer
The Lucky Stiff (1949)
Composer
House of Strangers (1949)
Composer
Bride of Vengeance (1949)
Composer
Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948)
Music Score
The Paleface (1948)
Music Score
Beyond Glory (1948)
Music Score
The Emperor Waltz (1948)
Music Score
State of the Union (1948)
Music Score
The Big Clock (1948)
Music Score
So Evil My Love (1948)
Addl Music
Miss Tatlock's Millions (1948)
Music Score
I Walk Alone (1948)
Music Score
Dream Girl (1948)
Music Score
California (1947)
Music Score
The Imperfect Lady (1947)
Music Score
The Trouble with Women (1947)
Music Score
Golden Earrings (1947)
Music Score
Suddenly, It's Spring (1947)
Music Score
Calcutta (1947)
Music Score
Unconquered (1947)
Music Score
Golden Earrings (1947)
Composer
Our Hearts Were Growing Up (1946)
Music Score
Two Years Before the Mast (1946)
Music Score
Masquerade in Mexico (1946)
Music Director
Kitty (1946)
Music Score
The Blue Dahlia (1946)
Music Director
The Searching Wind (1946)
Music Score
To Each His Own (1946)
Music Score
Out of This World (1945)
Music Director
A Medal for Benny (1945)
Music Score
The Great John L. (1945)
Music Director
Love Letters (1945)
Music Score
You Came Along (1945)
Music Score
Love Letters (1945)
Composer
The Uninvited (1944)
Music Score
The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944)
Music Score
Practically Yours (1944)
Music Score
And the Angels Sing (1944)
Music Director
And Now Tomorrow (1944)
Music Score
Ministry of Fear (1944)
Music Score
The Great Moment (1944)
Music Score
Frenchman's Creek (1944)
Music Score
The Uninvited (1944)
Composer
Sing a Jingle (1944)
Composer
Buckskin Frontier (1943)
Music Score
China (1943)
Music Score
The Crystal Ball (1943)
Music Score
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)
Music Score
No Time for Love (1943)
Music Score
The Outlaw (1943)
Music Director
True to Life (1943)
Music Director
Hostages (1943)
Music Score
Riding High (1943)
Music Director
Salute for Three (1943)
Music Director
The Remarkable Andrew (1942)
Music Score
Reap the Wild Wind (1942)
Music Score
The Great Man's Lady (1942)
Music Score
Priorities on Parade (1942)
Music Director
Beyond the Blue Horizon (1942)
Music Score
The Fleet's In (1942)
Music Director
Road to Morocco (1942)
Music Director
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1942)
Music Score
The Glass Key (1942)
Music Score
True to the Army (1942)
Music Director
Flying Tigers (1942)
Music Score
Silver Queen (1942)
Music Score
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Music Score
Take a Letter, Darling (1942)
Music Score
Sweater Girl (1942)
Music Director
The Forest Rangers (1942)
Music Score
Rhythm Parade (1942)
Composer
Reap the Wild Wind (1942)
Composer
The Mad Doctor (1941)
Music Score
Skylark (1941)
Music Score
Aloma of the South Seas (1941)
Music Director
Las Vegas Nights--"The Last Frontier Town" (1941)
Music Director
Reaching for the Sun (1941)
Music Score
Hold Back the Dawn (1941)
Music Score
I Wanted Wings (1941)
Music Score
Road to Zanzibar (1941)
Music Director
Glamour Boy (1941)
Music Director
Kiss the Boys Goodbye (1941)
Music Director
The Round Up (1941)
Music Score
Caught in the Draft (1941)
Music Score
Forced Landing (1941)
Composer
I Wanted Wings (1941)
Composer
Love Thy Neighbor (1940)
Music Director
Three Men from Texas (1940)
Music Score
Three Faces West (1940)
Music Score
Those Were the Days! (1940)
Music Director
The Light That Failed (1940)
Music Score
Arizona (1940)
Music
The Light of Western Stars (1940)
Music Score
I Want a Divorce (1940)
Music Score
Buck Benny Rides Again (1940)
Incidental Music
The Way of All Flesh (1940)
Music Score
Dancing on a Dime (1940)
Music Director
Buck Benny Rides Again (1940)
Music Director
Moon over Burma (1940)
Music Score
Dark Command (1940)
Music Score
Road to Singapore (1940)
Music Director
Arise, My Love (1940)
Music Score
Knights of the Range (1940)
Music Score
Untamed (1940)
Music Score
Rhythm on the River (1940)
Music Director
Dancing on a Dime (1940)
Composer
Hit Parade of 1941 (1940)
Composer
Second Chorus (1940)
Composer
A Night at Earl Carroll's (1940)
Composer
Escape to Paradise (1939)
Music Director
The Night of Nights (1939)
Music Score
Man About Town (1939)
Music Director
Fisherman's Wharf (1939)
Music Director
Range War (1939)
Music Score
The Llano Kid (1939)
Music Score
Heritage of the Desert (1939)
Music Score
Golden Boy (1939)
Music Score
Man of Conquest (1939)
Music Score
Raffles (1939)
Music
Law of the Pampas (1939)
Music Score
Way Down South (1939)
Music Director
Gulliver's Travels (1939)
Atmospheric Music created and Conductor by
Our Neighbors--the Carters (1939)
Music Score
Fisherman's Wharf (1939)
Composer
Everything's on Ice (1939)
Composer
Heritage of the Desert (1939)
Composer
Flirting with Fate (1938)
Music Director
Army Girl (1938)
Music Score
Breaking the Ice (1938)
Music Director
Thrill of a Lifetime (1938)
Arrangements
The Gladiator (1938)
Music Director
Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus (1938)
Music Director
Cocoanut Grove (1938)
Composer
Breaking the Ice (1938)
Composer
Maid of Salem (1937)
Original Music
Waikiki Wedding (1937)
Orchestration
Swing High, Swing Low (1937)
Music comp and Arrangements
Mountain Music (1937)
Orchestration
Ebb Tide (1937)
Original Music score
Walter Wanger's Vogues of 1938 (1937)
Music Composition
Turn Off the Moon (1937)
Arrangements by
Internes Can't Take Money (1937)
Orch Director
Double or Nothing (1937)
Orchestra Arrangement
Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)
Original Music
Wells Fargo (1937)
Original Music
Artists and Models (1937)
Composer
Frankie and Johnnie (1936)
Music
Frankie and Johnnie (1936)
Composer
Easy to Take (1936)
Composer
Heart of the West (1936)
Composer
Fatal Lady (1936)
Composer
Hideaway Girl (1936)
Composer

Cast (Special)

Visitors From the Unknown (1992)
Jean Jacques ("The Real Ufo Story")

Music (Special)

Keith Jarrett: Standards (1988)
Song ("Stella By Starlight")

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Dash and Lilly (1999)
Harvey Chernoff
The Don's Analyst (1997)
Dr Aaron Beuker
City Boy (1994)
Mcmurrich

Life Events

1906

Began playing violin at age six (date approximate)

1910

Sent to live with grandparents in Warsaw after mother's death and father's abandonment (date approximate)

1928

Had first hit record with "Sweet Sue, Just You"; lyrics by Will J Harris

1935

Formed his own orchestra, alternately billed as The Victor Young Orchestra and Victor Young and His Singing Strings

1936

Began working for Paramount Pictures, first as a musical director and then as chief composer and arranger, scoring dozens of movies for the studio

1943

Wrote the dramatic and involving Oscar-nominated score for the film adaptation of Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

1945

Wrote the charming popular theme to the otherwise unremarkable film "Love Letters"

1946

Scored the moving melodrama "To Each His Own"

1950

His theme song to "My Foolish Heart" earned the composer hit status and an Oscar nomination

1952

Composed the appropriately lively score for "The Quiet Man", starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara

1954

Wrote the score (including Peggy Lee's popular theme song) to the flamboyant Western "Johnny Guitar", starring Joan Crawford

1957

Posthumously won first Academy Award for the 1956 effort "Around the World in 80 Days"

Videos

Movie Clip

Run Of The Arrow (1957) - Open, Palm Sunday The opening scene at Appomattox, 1865, as Confederate O'Meara (Rod Steiger) fires the last shot, not quite killing Yankee Ralph Meeker, leading to the credits for writer-producer-director Samuel Fuller's searing Run Of The Arrow, 1957.
Uninvited, The (1944) - Stella By Starlight Stella (Gail Russell) is flattered by the attention of Rick (Ray Milland), though nervous about visiting the house he’s bought with his sister, where her own mother died, leading to the introduction of the famous song by Victor Young, originally composed without lyrics, in The Uninvited, 1944.
Our Very Own (1950) - The Last Word Chaste version of "From Here to Eternity" as Gail (Ann Blyth) and Chuck (Farley Granger) celebrate her birthday on the beach in Samuel Goldwyn's Our Very Own, 1950.
Samson And Delilah (1950) - Open, Such A Man Grandiose credits and opening narration to C.B. DeMille's steamy technicolor biblical epic Samson And Delilah, 1950, starring Victor Mature, Hedy Lamarr and George Sanders.
Samson And Delilah (1950) - Dimpled Dragon In another metallic outfit, vengeful Delilah (Hedy Lamarr) has the loquacious Saran (George Sanders) enraptured when news comes that rebel Samson is captured, in C.B. DeMille's Samson And Delilah, 1950.
Samson And Delilah (1950) - Could I Bind You? Slow on the uptake, directed by C.B. DeMille, rebel Samson (Victor Mature) at last realizes that conniving Delilah (Hedy Lamarr) is determined to seduce him, in Samson and Delilah, 1950.

Trailer

One Minute To Zero - (Original Trailer) A U.S. colonel (Robert Mitchum) tries to evacuate American civilians during the Korean War in One Minute To Zero (1952).
Uninvited, The - (Original Trailer) Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey are siblings who discover their new house is visited by The Uninvited (1944), one of the first, and best, serious ghost stories from Hollywood.
Greatest Show On Earth, The - (Original Trailer) Cecil B. DeMille won his one Academy Award® for Best Picture for the circus drama The Greatest Show On Earth (1952).
For Whom the Bell Tolls -- (Original Trailer) Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman fight the good fight in Spain in the movie of Ernest Hemingway's For Whom The Bell Tolls (1943).
File on Thelma Jordon, The - (Original Trailer) Barbara Stanwyck seduces a District Attorney and pulls him into a web of theft and murder in The File on Thelma Jordon (1950).
Bullfighter and the Lady - (Original Trailer) An American (Robert Stack) takes up bullfighting to impress the ladies but learns to respect the sport in Budd Boetticher's Bullfighter and the Lady (1951).
Kitty - (Original Trailer) A penniless British lord (Ray Milland) passes a street urchin (Paulette Goddard) off as a lady to sell her to a rich husband in Kitty (1946).
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A (1949) - (Original Trailer) Bing Crosby brings 19th-Century know-how to Camelot in a musical version of Mark Twain's classic tale.
Great Moment, The - (Original Trailer) Director Preston Sturges tells the true story of the first dentist to find a painless method of pulling teeth in The Great Moment (1944).
Sands of Iwo Jima - (Original Trailer) During World War II a marine sergeant must turn his recruits into fighting men in Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), directed by Allan Dwan and starring John Wayne.
Three Coins in the Fountain - (Original Trailer) Three American rommates working in Italy wish for the man of their dreams after throwing Three Coins in the Fountain (1954).
My Favorite Spy (1951) - (Original Trailer) A comedian poses as an international spy to recover mysterious microfilm in My Favorite Spy (1951) starring Bob Hope and Hedy Lamarr.

Family

William Young
Father
Singer. Tenor with the Chicago Opera; abandoned his children after the death of their mother; remarried; died in 1932.
Helen Young
Sister
Pianist. Moved to Poland along with brother after their mother's death; was Young's accompaniest during his Europe and US tours; married to violinist Henry Hill.
Bobbie Fromberg
Niece

Companions

Rita Young
Wife
Died in 1962.

Bibliography