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Max Steiner
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    (May 10, 1888-December 28, 1971)
    Born in Vienna, Austria
    Film composer
    Won Oscars for Best Original Score for 'The Informer' (1935), 'Now, Voyager' (1942) and 'Since You Went Away' (1944)
    Other scores included 'Symphony of Six Million' (1932), 'King Kong' (1933), 'Little Women' (1933), 'Of Human Bondage' (1934), 'A Star Is Born' (1937), 'Jezebel' (1938), 'Dark Victory' (1939), 'Dodge City' (1939), 'Gone with the Wind' (1939), 'The Letter' (1940), 'Sargeant York' (1941), 'Casablanca' (1942), 'The Big Sleep' (1946), 'Life with Father' (1947), 'Johnny Belinda' (1948), 'The Glass Menagerie' (1950), 'The Caine Mutiny' (1954), 'The Searchers' (1956), 'A Summer Place' (1959) and 'Those Calloways' (1965)
    Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1995)
    He was married four times, divorced three times.
    He took benzedrine to stay up for 20-hour stretches to finish the score for 'Gone with the Wind.'
    Detractors accused him of frequently resorting to 'Mickey Mousing' -- having the music mimic the onscreen action, as in a cartoon.
    He received lessons in piano from Johannes Brahms and in conducting from Gustav Mahler.
    He completed the Imperial Academy of Music's four-year course of study in a single year.
    With fellow movie composers Carl Stalling and Scott Bradley, he created the click track to keep scores in synch with the films.
    He was incredibly prolific, scoring 36 films in 1934 and 37 in 1935.
    His score for 'King Kong' was such a departure from standard Hollywood composing that Oscar Levant called it 'a symphony accompanied by a movie.'
    Bette Davis (who starred in 18 films that he scored) said, 'Max understood more about drama than any of us.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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