Bill Conti

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Bill Conti
Bill Conti.jpg
Bill Conti, 2008
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Conti
Born (1942-04-13) April 13, 1942 (age 77)
Providence, Rhode Island
Genres Film score, Disco
Occupation(s) Composer, Conductor
Instrumentsbassoon, piano
Years active1969–present

William Conti (born April 13, 1942) is an American composer and conductor best known for his film scores, including Rocky (and four of its sequels), Karate Kid (and all of its sequels), For Your Eyes Only , Dynasty , and The Right Stuff , which earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Score. He also received nominations in the Best Original Song category for "Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky and for the title song of For Your Eyes Only . He was the musical director at the Academy Awards a record nineteen times. [1]

<i>Rocky</i> 1976 American sports drama directed by John G. Avildsen

Rocky is a 1976 American boxing sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated, but kind-hearted working class Italian-American boxer, working as a debt collector for a loan shark in the slums of Philadelphia. Rocky, a small-time club fighter, gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. The film also stars Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian's brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the reigning champion, Apollo Creed.

<i>For Your Eyes Only</i> (film) 1981 British spy film in the James Bond series by John Glen

For Your Eyes Only is a 1981 British spy film, the twelfth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the fifth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It marked the directorial debut of John Glen, who had worked as editor and second unit director on three other Bond films.

<i>Dynasty</i> (1981 TV series) 1980s American prime time television soap opera

Dynasty is an American prime time television soap opera that aired on ABC from January 12, 1981 to May 11, 1989. The series, created by Richard and Esther Shapiro and produced by Aaron Spelling, revolves around the Carringtons, a wealthy family residing in Denver, Colorado. Dynasty stars John Forsythe as oil magnate Blake Carrington, Linda Evans as his new wife Krystle, and later Joan Collins as his former wife Alexis.

Contents

Early life

Conti, an Italian American, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Lucetta and William Conti. [2] He graduated from North Miami High School in 1959. [3] [4] He is a past winner of the Silver Knight Award presented by the Miami Herald. [5] He is a graduate of Louisiana State University, and also studied at the Juilliard School of Music.

Providence, Rhode Island Capital of Rhode Island

Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a Reformed Baptist theologian and religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.

North Miami High School

North Miami Senior High School (NMSHS) is a secondary school located at 13110 NE 8th Avenue in North Miami, Florida, United States.

<i>Miami Herald</i> American daily newspaper

The Miami Herald is a daily newspaper owned by the McClatchy Company and headquartered in Doral, Florida, a city in western Miami-Dade County and the Miami metropolitan area, several miles west of downtown Miami. Founded in 1903, it is the second largest newspaper in South Florida, serving Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe Counties. It also circulates throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Rocky series

Conti's big break into celebrity came in 1976, when he was hired to compose the music for a small United Artists film called Rocky . The film became a phenomenon and won three Oscars at the 49th Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The same ceremony was also the first time Conti was musical director for the Academy Awards, a role he reprised 18 times subsequently, more than anybody else. His training montage tune, "Gonna Fly Now", topped the Billboard singles chart in 1977, and earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

United Artists American film studio

United Artists Corporation (UA), currently doing business as United Artists Digital Studios, is an American film and television entertainment studio. Founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, the studio was premised on allowing actors to control their own interests, rather than being dependent upon commercial studios. UA was repeatedly bought, sold, and restructured over the ensuing century. The current United Artists company exists as a successor to the original; as a distributor of films across MGM and third-party titles and as a provider of digital content, in addition to handling most of its post-1952 in-house library and other content it has since acquired. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquired the studio in 1981 for a reported $350 million.

49th Academy Awards Academy Awards ceremony that took place in 1977

The 49th Academy Awards were presented Monday, March 28, 1977, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. The ceremonies were presided over by Richard Pryor, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda, and Warren Beatty.

The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards (Oscars) presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) since the awards debuted in 1929. This award goes to the producers of the film and is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible to submit a nomination and vote on the final ballot. Best Picture is the final award of the night and is considered the most prestigious honor of the ceremony.

Conti also composed music for the sequels Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky V (1990) and Rocky Balboa (2006).

<i>Rocky II</i> 1979 US boxing film directed by Sylvester Stallone

Rocky II is a 1979 American boxing sports drama film written, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone. It is the sequel to the 1976 film Rocky, and was the last installment in the film series that was distributed solely by United Artists.

<i>Rocky III</i> 1982 boxing film directed by Sylvester Stallone

Rocky III is a 1982 American boxing sports drama film written, directed by, and starring Sylvester Stallone. It is the third installment in the Rocky film series, and the second in the franchise to be directed by Stallone.

<i>Rocky V</i> 1990 American film

Rocky V is a 1990 American boxing sports drama film. It is the fifth film in the Rocky series, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, and co-starring Talia Shire, Stallone's real-life son Sage, and real-life boxer Tommy Morrison, with Morrison in the role of Tommy Gunn, a talented yet raw boxer. Sage played Rocky Balboa, Jr, whose relationship with his famous father is explored. After Stallone directed the second through fourth films in the series, Rocky V saw the return of John G. Avildsen, whose direction of Rocky won him an Academy Award for Best Director.

Other film and television credits

Conti also worked for some other films and, eventually, for television series. In 1981, he wrote the music for the James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only , when John Barry was unwilling to return to the United Kingdom for tax reasons, and provided the score for playwright Jason Miller's film version of his Pulitzer Prize winning play That Championship Season the following year.

<i>James Bond</i> Media franchise about a British spy

The James Bond series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections. Since Fleming's death in 1964, eight other authors have written authorised Bond novels or novelizations: Kingsley Amis, Christopher Wood, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver, William Boyd and Anthony Horowitz. The latest novel is Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz, published in May 2018. Additionally Charlie Higson wrote a series on a young James Bond, and Kate Westbrook wrote three novels based on the diaries of a recurring series character, Moneypenny.

John Barry (composer) English film score composer

John Barry Prendergast, was an English composer and conductor of film music. He composed the scores for 11 of the James Bond films between 1963 and 1987, and also arranged and performed the "James Bond Theme" to the first film in the series, 1962's Dr. No. He wrote the Grammy- and Academy Award-winning scores to the films Dances with Wolves and Out of Africa, as well as the theme for the British television cult series The Persuaders!, in a career spanning over 50 years. In 1999, he was appointed OBE for services to music.

Jason Miller (playwright) American actor and playwright

Jason Miller was an American actor and playwright. He received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play That Championship Season and was widely recognized for his role as Father Damien Karras in the 1973 horror film The Exorcist, a role he reprised in The Exorcist III. He later became artistic director of the Scranton Public Theatre in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where That Championship Season was set.

In 1983, Conti composed the score for HBO's first film, The Terry Fox Story. He then did Bad Boys and Mass Appeal . In 1984, he won an Academy Award for composing the score to 1983's The Right Stuff , after which he wrote for the TV series North and South in 1985. He also scored the Masters of the Universe live action film. Another score was the 1987 movie Happy New Year .

<i>Bad Boys</i> (1983 film) 1983 American crime drama directed by Rick Rosenthal

Bad Boys is a 1983 American coming-of-age crime drama film set in a juvenile detention center, starring Sean Penn, Esai Morales, and Clancy Brown, Alan Ruck and Ally Sheedy in their film debuts. The film is directed by Rick Rosenthal. The original music score was composed by Bill Conti.

<i>Mass Appeal</i> (film) 1984 film by Glenn Jordan

Mass Appeal is a 1984 American dramedy film directed by Glenn Jordan and starring Jack Lemmon. The screenplay by Bill C. Davis is based on his 1980 play of the same name.

<i>The Right Stuff</i> (film) 1983 film by Philip Kaufman

The Right Stuff is a 1983 American epic historical drama film. It was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling 1979 book of the same name about the Navy, Marine and Air Force test pilots who were involved in aeronautical research at Edwards Air Force Base, California, as well as the Mercury Seven, the seven military pilots who were selected to be the astronauts for Project Mercury, the first manned spaceflight by the United States. The Right Stuff was written and directed by Philip Kaufman and stars Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid and Barbara Hershey. Levon Helm is the narrator in the introduction and elsewhere in the film, as well as having a co-starring role as Air Force test pilot Jack Ridley.

In 1991, Conti composed for Necessary Roughness , a college football movie. In 1993, he wrote the music for The Adventures of Huck Finn starring Elijah Wood and directed by Stephen Sommers. In 1999, he composed the score for The Thomas Crown Affair remake, starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. That year, he scored Inferno, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Conti composed the themes to television's Dynasty , The Colbys , Falcon Crest and Cagney & Lacey. He wrote the theme song to the original version of American Gladiators , worked with CBS on their 1980s movie jingle, composed one of the early themes of Inside Edition , and wrote the Primetime Live theme for ABC News. He composed the score to the studio altered American version of Luc Besson's The Big Blue .

Two of Conti's previously-composed works were reused for the show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous . These were the love theme "Come with Me Now" from the soundtrack for Five Days from Home (used for the show's main theme), and "Runaway", from For Your Eyes Only (used for in-show content).

Awards and nominations

Conti has been nominated for three Academy Awards, winning one in the Best Original Score category for The Right Stuff. [6] He also received nominations in the Best Original Song category for "Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky and for the title song of For Your Eyes Only .

He had three Golden Globe nominations; two for Best Original Score for Rocky and An Unmarried Woman , and one for Best Original Song for the title song of For Your Eyes Only .

Conti also received thirteen Emmy nominations, all but one for his role as musical director at the Academy Awards (the exception, his first nomination, was for his music for the 1985 series North and South). He won five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Musical Direction for the 64th, 70th and 75th Academy Award ceremonies. [7]

On April 22, 2008, at the LSU Union Theatre at Louisiana State University, Conti was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Discography

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References

  1. "The Music Behind the Screen: Cue Bill Conti". Musicbehindthescreen.blogspot.co.uk. 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
  2. "Bill Conti Biography (1942-)". Filmreference.com. 1942-04-13. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  3. "North Miami Sr. High School Alumni Events". Nmshaa.net. 1993-03-19. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
  4. Wikipedia Bill Conti .org
  5. Benn, Evan S. "Silver Knight success stories". Miamiherald.com. Retrieved 2014-12-11.
  6. "The 56th Academy Awards (1984) Nominees and Winners". Oscars.org. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  7. "Awards Search". Emmys. Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on 21 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  8. https://www.billboard.com/music/bill-conti