|Was||Musician Composer Conductor Film score composer|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Music|
|Birth||21 August 1945, Kansas City, USA|
|Death||8 November 2006, Los Angeles, USA (aged 61 years)|
Basil Konstantine Poledouris (/ˈpɒlɪdʊərɪs/; August 21, 1945 – November 8, 2006) was a Greek-American composer, conductor, and orchestrator of film and television scores, best known for his long-running collaborations with directors John Milius and Paul Verhoeven. Among his works are scores for the films Conan the Barbarian (1982), Red Dawn (1984), Iron Eagle (1986), RoboCop (1987), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Free Willy (1993), Starship Troopers (1997) and Les Miserables (1998). Poledouris won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special for his work on the four-part miniseries Lonesome Dove in 1989, and was a four-time recipient of the BMI Film Music Award.
Life and career
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he credited two influences with guiding him towards music: the first was composer Miklós Rózsa; the second his own Greek Orthodox heritage. Poledouris was raised in the Church, and he used to sit in services enthralled by the choir's sound. At the age of seven, Poledouris began piano lessons, and after graduation from Garden Grove High School, he enrolled at the University of Southern California to study both filmmaking and music. Several short films to which he contributed are still kept in the university's archives. At USC, Poledouris met movie directors John Milius and Randal Kleiser, with whom he would later collaborate as a music composer. He appeared as a background extra in several episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. In 1985, Poledouris wrote the music for Paul Verhoeven's Flesh & Blood, establishing a durable collaboration.
Poledouris became renowned for his powerfully epic style of orchestral composition and his intricate thematic designs. He scored the soundtrack for The Blue Lagoon (1980; dir: Kleiser); Conan the Barbarian (1982; dir: Milius); Conan the Destroyer (1984); Red Dawn (1984; dir: Milius), Iron Eagle (1986); RoboCop (1987; dir: Verhoeven); The Hunt for Red October (1990); Quigley Down Under (1990 Simon Wincer); Free Willy (1993) and its first sequel Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995); Starship Troopers (1997; dir: Verhoeven); and For Love of the Game (1999).
Poledouris' studio, "Blowtorch Flats", was located in Venice, California, and was a professional mixing facility specializing in film and media production.
Poledouris married his wife Bobbie in 1969; they had two daughters, Zoë and Alexis. His elder daughter, Zoë Poledouris, is an actress and film composer, who occasionally collaborated with her father in composing film soundtracks.
In 1996, Poledouris, alongside James Horner, composed "The Tradition of the Games" for the Atlanta Olympics opening ceremony that accompanied the memorable dance tribute to the athletes and goddesses of victory of the ancient Greek Olympics using silhouette imagery.
Poledouris spent the last four years of his life residing on Vashon Island, in Washington State. He died on November 8, 2006, in Los Angeles, California, aged 61, from cancer.
Awards & nominations
- Winner Best Score for Miniseries – Emmy Awards (Lonesome Dove)
- Nominee Best Score – Saturn Awards (Conan the Barbarian)
- Winner Special Recognition Music Award – BMI Film & TV Awards (Olympic Tribute for "The Tradition of the Games")
- Winner Film Music Award – BMI Awards (Free Willy)
- Winner Film Music Award – BMI Awards (The Hunt for Red October)
- Winner TV Music Award – BMI Awards (Lonesome Dove)
- Winner Film Music Award – BMI Awards (RoboCop)