Sunday, May 26, 2024

Michel Le Grand, Oscar Winning Composer of Much Covered “Windmills of Your Mind,” Dies at 86 in Paris


Michel LeGrand has died at age 86. The Oscar winning composer had dates set up for this spring, but he died peacefully in his sleep in France.

LeGrand is huge. His music was heard in dozens of films. But his most famous song was “Windmills of Your Mind” from “The Thomas Crown Affair.” Is there anyone who hasn’t recorded it? Barbra Streisand included a version on a recent album. Here’s my favorite version, by Dusty Springfield:

There’s also a wonderful version by Sting, of all people:

Le Grand was a favorite of Streisand, who commissioned him to write the score for “Yentl.” Tony Bennett also favored LeGrand and another of his hits, “How Do You Keep the Music Playing.” I was lucky enough to watch Tony record that song with Aretha Franklin several years ago.

He won 4 Oscars, 3 Grammy Awards and countless other awards. What a life! Expect memoriams at both the Oscars and the Grammys next month. I know the Oscars don’t want a lot of people singing but it would be so amazing to have Streisand sing “Windmills” over the Tributes.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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