Chaplin dead at 85

Oscar-winning music icon succumbs after fall

Saul Chaplin, an Academy Award-winning musical director, composer and producer, died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center following injuries sustained in a fall. He was 85.

Chaplin’s long music career encompassed Tin Pan Alley, vaudeville, Broadway and Hollywood. He won Oscars for his collaborations on the scoring and orchestration of “An American in Paris” (1951), “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (1954) and “West Side Story” (1961).

He was born Feb. 19, 1912, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was educated at NYU (School of Commerce).

Chaplin, who joined ASCAP in 1936, came to Hollywood in the late 1930s and scored “Manhattan Merry-Go-Round” for Republic in 1937. He then moved to Universal, where he scored “Argentine Nights” and “Crazy House.”

In 1944, Chaplin was housed at Columbia Pictures, where he scored the Rita Hayworth starrer “Cover Girl.” The following year, he scored “The Jolson Story.”

Joining MGM in the 1940s, Chaplin scored numerous films for the studio, including “On the Town” (1949) and “Summer Stock” (1950).

Additional credits include “Lovely to Look At” (1952), “Kiss Me Kate” (1953) and “High Society” (1956).

In the early 1960s, Chaplin turned to producing, with credits including “Can-Can” (1960), “The Sound of Music” (1965), “Star!” (1968), “Man of La Mancha” (1972) and “That’s Entertainment Part 2” (1976).

A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Chaplin collaborated the hits “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” “Until the Real Thing Comes Along” and “Please Be Kind.”

He also wrote the music to the Broadway show “Bonanza Bound!” in 1947.

His autobiographical book, “The Golden Age of Movie Musicals and Me,” was published in 1994.

Chaplin is survived by his wife, Betty Levin Chaplin, a daughter, Judy Chaplin Prince, two grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Family suggests donations in Chaplin’s name be made to the Stroke Center at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Project Angel Food or the American Cancer Society.

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