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Batman Toon Composer Shirley Walker Passes

Shirley Walker, Emmy-winning composer and orchestrator, passed away on Nov. 30, 2006, reports THE L.A. TIMES. She was 61. Walker died from complications after a stroke in Reno, Nevada.

As a woman, Walker stood out in the world of movie composing, where females number less than 5%.

She won her two Emmys for her work as music director on THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN in 1996 and BATMAN BEYOND in 2001. She made her first foray into scoring for animation on BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.

Walker was the conductor or orchestrator on Danny Elfman's scores for BATMAN (1989) and DICK TRACY (1990) as well as Hans Zimmer's scores for DAYS OF THUNDER (1990) and BACKDRAFT (1991).

Walker was the first woman to score a major studio release with the 1992 film, MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN, for Warner Bros. Her following credits included John Carpenter's ESCAPE FROM L.A., the three FINAL DESTINATION films and the remake of BLACK CHRISTMAS.

For television, Walker began composing for FALCON CREST (CBS, 1981-90) and followed that with work on CHINA BEACH (ABC, 1988-91). In 1996, she received an Emmy composing nomination for the FOX series, SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND.

She was born in 1945 in Napa. While in high school, Walker performed as a piano soloist for the San Francisco Symphony. Later, she received a piano scholarship to the San Francisco State. In 1967, she married her husband, Don, an audio consultant for the music industry, who died of lung cancer in March.

Walker is survived by two sons, Colin, a subtitle editor, and Ian, a musician; her mother, two brothers and a sister. A memorial service will be held early next year.

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