January 30, 1929|
Newark, New Jersey, USA
|Died||November 11, 1991(aged 62)|
Morton Stevens (January 30, 1929 – November 11, 1991) was an American film score composer from Newark, New Jersey. In 1965 Stevens became director of music for CBS West Coast operations. He is probably best known for composing the theme tune for Hawaii Five-O, a television series for which he won two Emmy Awards (in 1970 and 1974), and was nominated seven other times for work on television programs including Gunsmoke and Police Woman. He was taught under Academy Award-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith and had collaborated with him most of the time on other projects. He succumbed to cancer in 1991.
Stevens got his start in the 1950s as an arranger/conductor for Sammy Davis, Jr. After Davis's longtime conductor, George Rhodes, died in 1985, Stevens was among those who filled that role again sporadically until Davis' death in 1990. In his later years, Stevens worked as conductor for other Vegas legends, including Jerry Lewis, and was musical director for the "Rat Pack" tour featuring Davis, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and (when Martin quit) Liza Minnelli.
A version of Stevens' classic theme is used in the 2010 remake of Hawaii Five-0.
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