Alex North


Alex North (December 4, 1910 - September 8, 1991) was the composer responsible for the first jazz based film score (A Streetcar Named Desire) and the first truly modernist film score (Viva Zapata!).

Alex North was an original composer probably even by the classical music standards of the day. However, he managed to intergrate his modernism into typical film music leitmotif structure, rich with themes. One of which became the famous song, "Unchained Melody". Nominated for an Oscar 15 times, Alex North is the only film composer to win the lifetime achievement Oscar.

His most popular film scores of those many not already mentioned are Spartacus, Cleopatra, Dragonslayer, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Devil's Brigade, and the rejected score for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.