Composer Irving Gertz dies at 93

Wrote score for 'It Came From Outer Space'

Irving Gertz, composer for dozens of B movies and sci-fi TV in the 1950s and ’60s, died Nov. 14 in Los Angeles. He was 93.

Gertz contributed music to more than 200 films, often without screen credit. His most notable efforts were in the science-fiction and horror genres, including “It Came From Outer Space,” “The Monolith Monsters,” “The Alligator People,” “The Creature Walks Among Us” and “The Incredible Shrinking Man.”

He also penned music for TV, including scores for “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” “The Invaders,” “Land of the Giants” and “Daniel Boone”; and for radio, including NBC’s “Screen Directors Playhouse.”

Gertz was born in Providence, R.I., and studied at the Providence College of Music. After serving in the Army Signal Corps during World War II, he studed with noted West Coast composers Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Ernst Toch. He began writing music for films in 1947, working for Columbia, Universal, United Artists, RKO and 20th Century-Fox, as well as independent producers, through the late 1960s.

He also penned a number of concert works, including a setting of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” for chorus and orchestra.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Dorothy; two daughters and four grandchildren.

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