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Composer Raksin Dies at 92

David Raksin, the Oscar-nominated composer wrote the memorable theme for 1944's LAURA, and scored several classic UPA cartoons in the 1950s, died Aug. 9. 2004, at the age of 92.

ASSOCIATED PRESS reported that Raksin, who had been ailing for several years and had early stage Alzheimer's disease, died at his home in Van Nuys, California, according to his son, Alex Raksin.

Raksin composed music for nearly 170 films and television shows, and is best known for the theme song to LAURA, a murder mystery directed by Otto Preminger. He also arranged music for Charlie Chaplin's silent classic MODERN TIMES.

Some of his compositions for UPA include THE UNICORN IN THE GARDEN, MADELINE, SLOPPY JALOPY and GIDDYAP.

Raksin received Academy Award music nominations for FOREVER AMBER, a drama set in the 1600s, and SEPARATE TABLES, a romance. His other major credits include music for THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (1947), FORCE OF EVIL (1948), THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952), Apache (1954) and the TV shows WAGON TRAIN (1957), BEN CASEY (1961) and MEDICAL CENTER (1969), as well as the 1983 nuclear-apocalypse TV movie THE DAY AFTER.

Raksin was born Aug. 4, 1912, in Philadelphia and was educated at the University of Pennsylvania. Raskin also worked as a music professor at the University of Southern California.