Friday, May 24, 2024

Johnny Mandel, Oscar Winning Composer of “MASH” Theme and “The Shadow of Your Smile” Dies at Age 94


Johnny Mandel is being mourned and celebrated today. He was a prolific scorer of movies and wrote hundreds of great songs. His most famous song was “The Shadow of Your Smile,” such a classic that there are hundreds of covers of. I picked out a couple below. The song won an Oscar from the movie, “The Sandpipers.”

In 1969 Johnny took some lyrics from “MASH” director Robert Altman’s son Michael and wrote the theme song for the hit movie. JOhnny’s instrumental version became the theme for the TV show. You can hear it somewhere every day.

Johnny Mandel came in a wheel chair one year ago to the Grammy Lifetime Achievement show at the Dolby Theater. He was sharp as a tack even at age 93. It was a thrill to see him, everyone loved it. His legacy is huge. Rest in peace.

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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