Emmy-Winning Composer Dominic Frontiere Dies at 86
Dominic Frontiere, Emmy-winning composer of such classic TV themes as The Outer Limits, The Flying Nun and The Rat Patrol, died Thursday in Tesuque, N.M. He was 86.
Dominic Frontiere was a fixture on the film- and TV-music scene throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, composing hundreds of hours of music, mostly for TV but also for films including Hang ‘Em High, Cancel My Reservation, Hammersmith Is Out, Freebie and the Bean, and The Aviator. He won a Golden Globe award for his score for “The Stunt Man” in 1980.
He also won an Emmy as musical director of Swing Out, Sweet Land, a patriotic TV special hosted by John Wayne in 1970. He scored three films for Wayne: Chisum, The Train Robbers and Brannigan.
Frontiere’s TV work dominated, however, including themes and scores for many series including The New Breed, That Girl, Stoney Burke, 12 O’Clock High, Branded, The Invaders, The Immortal, Search, Vega$ and Matt Houston.
His largest-scale work for TV was the 12-hour miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors, composed during his stint as head of music for Paramount in the mid-1970s. His other TV movies included Probe, Haunts of the Very Rich and Palomino.
Dominic Frontiere was born June 17, 1931, in New Haven, Conn., and played both violin and accordion as a youngster. He performed with Horace Heidt’s big band in the late 1940s and early 1950s, moving to Hollywood where he met fellow New Haven native Alfred Newman, then music director at 20th Century-Fox.
Survivors include his wife Robin, and five children. Donations in his name may be made to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation or Little Kids Rock.