Johnny Mandel Dead At 94

Johnny Mandel has died, as The New York Times reports. The composer and arranger was 94.

Mandel was best known for his film scores and songs. He wrote “Suicide Is Painless,” the theme for the 1970 film M*A*S*H and its subsequent long-running TV series. 1965’s “The Shadow Of Your Smile,” a song he co-wrote with Paul Francis Webster for The Sandpiper, won the Grammy Award for Song Of The Year and the Academy Award for Best Original Song. He also co-wrote “Emily,” the theme for the 1964 movie The Americanization Of Emily.

His film score credits include Caddyshack, Point Blank, The Verdict, Being There, Escape To Witch Mountain, The Last Detail, and the original Freaky Friday.

Before he settled into Hollywood, he started out as a jazz musician and song arranger and continued doing the latter throughout his career. He arranged songs for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand, and Tony Bennett. He won a number of Grammys for arrangement due to his work with Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole, and Shirley Horn.

Mandel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2010 and was recognized as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2011.

He passed away at his home in Ojai.