Dominic Frontiere

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Dominic Frontiere
Dominic Frontiere.jpg
Background information
Birth nameDominic Carmen Frontiere
Born(1931-06-17)June 17, 1931
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedDecember 21, 2017(2017-12-21) (aged 86)
Tesuque, New Mexico, U.S.
Occupation(s) Composer, arranger, musician
Instruments Accordion

Dominic Carmen Frontiere (June 17, 1931 – December 21, 2017) was an American composer, arrangement, and jazz accordionist. He composed the theme and much of the music for the first season of the television series The Outer Limits , as well as the theme song for The Rat Patrol .



Early years

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of a musical family, at age seven Frontiere was already playing several instruments before deciding to concentrate on the accordion. At age twelve, he played a solo recital at Carnegie Hall. [1]


After a period with a big band in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Frontiere moved to Los Angeles, where he enrolled at University of California, Los Angeles. He eventually became musical director at 20th Century Fox. He scored several films under the tutelage of Alfred and Lionel Newman, while also recording jazz music. [2] He composed the music for two exotica LP records Pagan Festival (1959) [3] and Love Eyes, The Mood of Romance (1960). [4]

An association with director and producer Leslie Stevens began with Frontiere scoring The Marriage-Go-Round (1961). This association led to several projects, such as his innovative blend of music and sound effects for The Outer Limits . He scored several iconic themes of the 1960s, such as The Rat Patrol , Branded , The Flying Nun , and for producer Quinn Martin The Invaders , The Fugitive , and 12 O'Clock High .

After scoring for television shows, he went on to compose the music for the Clint Eastwood film Hang 'Em High . The title theme for that movie became a top-10 hit for the group Booker T. & the M.G.'s. He also composed the soundtrack to the 1971 motorcycle documentary On Any Sunday , which featured Steve McQueen and was directed by Bruce Brown.

Frontiere became head of the music department at Paramount Pictures in the early 1970s, where he again worked on television and film scores, while concurrently orchestrating popular music albums for, among others, Chicago. Examples of Frontiere's sweeping, cinematic orchestrations appear in the opening and closing songs of the 1977 album Nether Lands by Dan Fogelberg. He won a Golden Globe Awards for the score to the 1980 film The Stunt Man . He also composed a jingle for the studio's television division. Frontiere composed a theme for the lion Togar that was featured in the film Roar . Stunt Man director Richard Rush's son Tony Rush served as camera assistant on Roar. [5] [6]

Tax evasion conviction

In 1986, Frontiere was incarcerated for nine months in a federal penitentiary after scalping tickets to the 1980 Super Bowl, which he obtained through his then-wife, Los Angeles Rams owner Georgia Frontiere. [7] He was estimated to have scalped as many as 16,000 tickets, making a half million dollars in profit that he did not report to the Internal Revenue Service. Frontiere pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year and one day in prison, three years probation, and fined $15,000 for failing to report income from the sale of the tickets and for lying to the IRS. [8] [9] Georgia Frontiere filed for divorce shortly after Dominic's release from prison. [7]


Frontiere died on 21 December 2017, at the age of 86 in Tesuque, New Mexico, where he lived. [10] [11]

Selected works

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  1. Eder, Bruce. "Dominic Frontiere Biography". AllMusic . All Media Network . Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  2. "Dominic Frontiere". Space Age Musicmaker. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  5. Hasan, Mark R. (June 18, 2015). "Film: Roar (1981)". Archived from the original on January 28, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  6. 1 2 Dursin, Andy (November 10, 2015). "Aisle Seat 11-11: The November Rundown". Film Score Daily.
  7. 1 2 Goldstein, Richard (19 January 2008). "Georgia Frontiere, 80, First Female N.F.L. Owner, Is Dead". The New York Times .
  8. Neff, Craig, ed. (30 June 1986). "Super Bowl Scalping". Sports Illustrated . ISSN   0038-822X.
  9. "Sports People; Frontiere Sentenced". The New York Times . December 9, 1986.
  10. Burlingame, Jon (December 23, 2017). "Dominic Frontiere, Composer for 'The Outer Limits,' 'The Flying Nun,' Dies at 86". Variety . ISSN   0042-2738.
  11. "Dominic Frontiere Obituary". Los Angeles Times . December 23, 2017.