Film scorer Basil Poledouris dies


Film and TV composer Basil Poledouris, who received an Emmy for scoring the 1989 Western miniseries "Lonesome Dove," died Wednesday of cancer in Los Angeles. He was 61.

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Poledouris studied piano from age 9. He studied music and film at USC. His big breaks came writing the scores for films directed by former USC classmate: John Milius' "Big Wed-nesday" (1978) and Randall Kleiser's "The Blue Lagoon" (1980).

Poledouris, who became noted for his brawny action-movie scores, would go on to score Milius' "Conan the Barbarian," "Red Dawn," "Farewell to the King" and "Flight of the Intruder" and Kleiser's "Summer Lovers," "White Fang" and "It's My Party."

He also enjoyed ongoing working relationships with Paul Verhoeven ("Robocop" and "Starship Troopers"), Simon Wincer ("Quigley Down Under" and "Free Willy") and John Waters ("Serial Mom" and "Cecil B. DeMented"). He also scored "The Hunt for Red October" and "Les Miserables," among others.

In addition to writing for "Lonesome Dove," Poledouris scored the 14-hour 1987 miniseries "Amerika."

In 1996, Poledouris was commissioned to pen music for the opening of the summer Olympic Games in Atlanta; his "Tradition of the Games" was performed by the Atlanta Symphony and a 300-voice choir.

This year, he conducted his reconstructed "Conan" score at a concert in Ubeda, Spain.

Poledouris is survived by his mother, Helen, former wife Bobbi, daughters Zoe and Alexis, brother John and close friend Suni Kim.
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