Film composer Elmer Bernstein, who died last week at the age of 82, was born in New York, the son of immigrants from Ukraine and the Austro-Hungarian empire.
When the call came about writing the music for Todd Haynes' "Far From Heaven," Elmer Bernstein was initially dismissive. "The film already had a temporary score, and I won't look at a film with a temporary score," said Bernstein, who has received 13 Academy Award nominations and a 1963 Oscar for "Thoroughly Modern Millie." His agent replied that he might make an exception for this temporary score, because it happened to be Bernstein's music from "To Kill a Mockingbird."
The list of films for which Elmer Bernstein has written orchestral scores reads like a roll call of cinema's all-time classics: "The Ten Commandments," "The Age of Innocence," "The Magnificent Seven," "Ghostbusters," "To Kill A Mockingbird," "CapeFear," "True Grit," "Animal House," "The Great Escape," "My Left Foot"...just to name a few.