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Film and Stage Composer Elmer Bernstein Dies at 82

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Elmer Bernstein
Composer Elmer Bernstein, whose credits include the films The Magnificent Seven, The Ten Commandments, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Thoroughly Modern Millie (for which he won an Academy Award), died in his sleep yesterday at his California home after a long illness. He was 82.

Bernstein started his career as a concert pianist and began composing and arranging for the Army Air Corps Radio Shows during World War II. His film career was stalled during the 1950s when he was "gray-listed" for his refusal to identify communists in the film industry.

In addition to his film work, which also included scores for The Great Escape, True Grit, Airplane!, Ghostbusters, A River Runs Through It, and The Age of Innocence, Bernstein composed works for concert stages and wrote the scores for two Broadway musicals: How Now Dow Jones (1967) and Merlin (1983). He also wrote much of the dance music for the Moose Charlap-Jule Styne-Carolyn Leigh-Betty Comden-Adolph Green adaptation of Peter Pan (1954), which starred Mary Martin.

The composer received Tony Award nominations for How Now Dow Jones and Merlin, and he earned a total of 14 Academy Award nominations for his film work. In 1964, he won an Emmy Award for The Making of the President: 1960.

Bernstein is survived by his wife, two sons, two daughters, and five grandchildren.
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