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."
At age 5, long before he began writing satirical pop songs and Oscar-nominated film soundtracks, Randy Newman trekked down to the sound stage at 20th Century Fox to watch his Uncle Al conduct the studio orchestra. Uncle Alfred was only 5-feet-4, but the Newman family patriarch seemed larger than life as he conducted his intensely dramatic score from "All About Eve."
If all you knew about composer George Gershwin washis body of work -- "An American in Paris," "Rhapsody in Blue,""Porgy and Bess," plus countless enduring melodies -- you would thinkhe lived to a ripe old age. But, in fact, the musical legend was only38 when he died.