Enrico Nicola "Henry" Mancini
Enrico Nicola "Henry" Mancini (April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994)
Mancini was a composer, conductor and arranger, who is best remembered for his film and television scores. Often cited as one of the greatest composers in the history of film, he won four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and twenty Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. His best known works include the theme to The Pink Panther film series ("The Pink Panther Theme"), "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the theme to the Peter Gunn television series. The Peter Gunn theme won the first Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Mancini also had a long collaboration on film scores with the film director Blake Edwards. Mancini is also noted for scoring a #1 hit single during the rock era on the Billboard charts. The Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet spent two weeks at the top, beginning on June 29, 1969.
Shortly before his death in 1994, he made a one-off cameo appearance in the first season of the sitcom series Frasier, as a call-in patient to Dr. Frasier Crane's radio show. Mancini voiced the character Al, who speaks with a melancholy drawl and hates the sound of his own voice, in the episode "Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast?" Moments after Mancini's cameo ends, Frasier's radio broadcast plays "Moon River". Mancini died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles on June 14, 1994. He was working at the time on the Broadway stage version of Victor/Victoria, which he never saw on stage. Mancini was survived by his wife of 43 years, singer Virginia "Ginny" O'Connor, with whom he had three children.