Film Composer Michel Legrand Dead at 86
Three-time Oscar winning musician scored films such as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and composed the iconic song “The Windmills of Your Mind”
- Michel Legrand—prolific French film composer and jazz pianist—has died, Variety
reports. He was 86. Legrand won three Oscars for his classic film
scores, including a Best Original Song award for the iconic 1968 The Thomas Crown Affair track “The Windmills of Your Mind.” According to a statement
from his management, Legrand passed away peacefully this Saturday
(January 26). “He changed the meaning of music in films with his sense
of rhythm and his absolute passion for life,” the statement reads—see it
- Since beginning his career as a jazz musician in the 1950s, Legrand composed approximately 150 film scores, including 1964’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 1967’s The Young Girls of Rochefort, and 1971’s Summer of ’42. He also wrote the music for Barbra Streisand’s “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” for her role in 1983’s Yentl. Legrand’s final score, for the film The Other Side of the Wind, arrived last year.
- Along with his work in film, Legrand scored for television, conducted
orchestras in concert, recorded over a hundred albums, and more. Legrand Jazz, his 1959 album, featured Miles Davis, John Coltrane,
Ben Webster, and many others. Along with his three Oscar wins, Legrand
took home five Grammys, including awards for his 1975 jazz LP Images and the theme for Summer of ’42, “Brian’s Song.” He was also the uncle of Beach House’s Victoria Legrand.