Silent Film Accompanist Mildred Wolf Dies at 101

Her son is noted film and TV composer Charles Bernstein.

Mildred Wolf, one of the last surviving movie accompanists from the silent film era, died Sunday in her West Los Angeles home of natural causes, one day after her 101st birthday.

Wolf’s son is Charles Bernstein, a prolific film and TV composer whose credits include work on such projects as Inglourious Basterds, Miss Evers’ Boys, Love at First Bite and Viva Knievel!

Born in Minneapolis, Wolf studied the craft of cinematic organ with Lawrence Morton, who was an arranger and composer for film studios and later founded Los Angeles’ renowned Monday Evening Concerts in the 1950s.

In 1926, Wolf accompanied silent films on the grand Wurlitzer Theater Organ in Minneapolis but was soon retired with the arrival of talking pictures.

Wolf married record producer and entrepreneur Charles Bernstein Sr., who passed away in 1952, then remarried and survived her second husband, financial executive Julius Wolf. She continued to play music into her final year.

In addition to her son, Wolf’s survivors include a daughter, Carol Auslander; Bernstein’s wife Georgianne; three grandchildren; and six great grandchildren.