Herbert Stothart

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Herbert P. Stothart
Born (1885-09-11)September 11, 1885
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died February 1, 1949(1949-02-01) (aged 63)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
Spouse(s) Mary Wolfe
Children Carol, Herbert, Constance

Herbert P. Stothart (September 11, 1885 – February 1, 1949) was an American songwriter, arranger, conductor, and composer. He was also nominated for twelve Academy Awards, winning Best Original Score for The Wizard of Oz. Stothart was widely acknowledged as a member of the top tier of Hollywood composers during the 1930s and 1940s.

Life and career[edit]

Herbert Stothart was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He studied music in Europe and at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he later taught.

Stothart was first hired by producer Arthur Hammerstein to be a musical director for touring companies of Broadway shows, and was soon writing music for the producer's nephew Oscar Hammerstein II. He composed music for the famous operetta, Rose-Marie. Stothart soon joined with many famous composers including Vincent Youmans, George Gershwin and Franz Lehár. Stothart achieved pop-chart success with standards like “Cute Little Two by Four”, “Wildflower”, “Bambalina”, “The Mounties”, “Totem Tom-Tom”, “Why Shouldn’t We?”, “Fly Away”, “Song of the Flame”, “The Cossack Love Song”, “Dawn”, “I Wanna Be Loved by You”, “Cuban Love Song”, “The Rogue Song” and “The Donkey Serenade.”

The year 1929 marked the end of the era of silent films. Shortly after completing his latest musical “Golden Dawn” with Oscar Hammerstein, Stothart received an invitation from Louis B. Mayer to move to Hollywood. Stothart took him up on his offer, and the rest is history. In 1929, Stothart was signed to a large MGM contract.

The next twenty years of his life were spent at MGM Studios, where he was part of elite group of Hollywood composers. Among the many films that he worked on was the famous 1936 version of Rose-Marie, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. He conducted and wrote songs and scores for the film musicals The Cuban Love Song, The Good Earth, Romeo and Juliet, Mutiny on the Bounty, Mrs. Miniver, The Green Years and The Picture of Dorian Gray. His output included Marx brothers' A Night At The Opera, the Leo Tolstoy romantic drama Anna Karenina, two Charles Dickens dramas A Tale Of Two Cities and David Copperfield, and Mutiny On The Bounty, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. He won an Oscar for his musical score for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

Herbert Stothart spent his entire Hollywood career at MGM. In 1947, he suffered a heart attack while visiting Scotland, and afterwards, composed an orchestral piece (Heart Attack: A Symphonic Poem), based on his tribulations. He worked on another (The Voice of Liberation), when he died two years later at the age of 63.

Awards[edit]

Stothart received 12 Academy Award nominations and won the Academy Award Best Original Score for The Wizard of Oz.

  1. 1939 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – The Wizard of Oz

Academy Award Nominations:

  1. 1935 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – Mutiny on the Bounty
  2. 1937 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – Maytime
  3. 1938 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – Marie Antoinette
  4. 1938 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – Sweethearts
  5. 1940 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – Waterloo Bridge
  6. 1941 Best Music, Scoring a Musical Picture – The Chocolate Soldier
  7. 1942 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – Random Harvest
  8. 1944 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – As Thousands Cheer
  9. 1944 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – Madame Curie
  10. 1944 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – Kismet
  11. 1945 Best Music, Scoring a Dramatic or Comedy Film – The Valley of Decision

Works[edit]

Herbert Stothart's movie scores include:

Death[edit]

Herbert Stothart died of cancer in Los Angeles, California at the age of 63.

References[edit]

External links[edit]