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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happy Birthday, James Newton Howard!

Today, we are celebrating the 61st birthday of Oscar-nominated composer James Newton Howard. A Los Angeles native, Howard attended the University of Southern California's music school, but he dropped out so that he could tour with Elton John. From there, Howard turned to composing and creating music for film and television, and he's been doing that ever since. Interestingly enough, Howard never actually conducts his own music; rather, he simply crafts and composes it then allows other conductors to take the helm in bringing the score to life. In his career, he has scored over one hundred films, and he continues to go strong to this day. In recent years, he has established an ongoing relationship with director M. Night Shyamalan, for whom Howard has scored a number of films. In his personal life, Howard has been married twice: first to Rosanna Arquette for just over a year, and then to Sophie Howard, with whom he has been married since 1992 and with whom he has had two children. And now, here's a few fun facts and accolades that Howard has earned throughout his career:

First Film: Head Office (1985)
Last Film: Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Next Film: The Bourne Legacy (2012)

Academy Awards
Nominated: Best Original Score, The Princes of Tides (1991)
Nominated: Best Original Score, The Fugitive (1993)
Nominated: Best Original Song, Junior (1994)
Nominated: Best Original Song, One Fine Day (1996)
Nominated: Best Original Score, My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
Nominated: Best Original Score, The Village (2004)
Nominated: Best Original Score, Michael Clayton (2007)
Nominated: Best Original Score, Defiance (2008)

Over the years, I have managed to see thirty-one films with Howard's scores, and on average, those films have received a 'B-' grade. From those thirty-one, I have created the following list of my five favorite of his scores:

5. Defiance


4. The Sixth Sense


3. Waterworld


2. Batman Begins
(with Hans Zimmer)


1. King Kong

Once again, I'd like to wish James Newton Howard a happy 61st birthday!

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