Composer Joel Goldsmith dies at 54

Son of Jerry Goldsmith specialized in sci-fi scores for film, TV

By Jon Burlingame

Joel Goldsmith, Emmy-nominated composer for TV’s “Stargate” series, died Sunday at his home in Hidden Hills, Calif., after a long battle with cancer. He was 54.

The son of Oscar-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith, he programmed synthesizers on some of his father’s 1970s and 1980s scores including “Runaway.” But the younger Goldsmith established his own musical career in the late 1970s and early 1980s, scoring sci-fi and horror films including “Laserblast,” “The Man With Two Brains” and “Moon 44.”

It was in television, however, that Goldsmith found his niche, composing the music for more than 350 episodes in the “Stargate” franchise alone, including most of “Stargate SG-1” and all of “Stargate Atlantis” and “Stargate Universe.” He also scored the “Stargate” videos “The Ark of Truth” and “Continuum.”

He received three Emmy nominations: for an episode of “Stargate SG-1,” for the theme for “Stargate Atlantis” and for an episode of “Stargate Atlantis.”

Goldsmith’s other TV projects included the themes and episode scores for “Super Force,” the 1990s remake of “The Untouchables,” “Hawkeye” and “Witchblade.” He also scored episodes of the 1990s remake of “The Outer Limits,” “H.E.L.P.” and “Diagnosis Murder.” His telepic scores included “Helen of Troy,” “Haunting Sarah” and “Fatal Desire.”

His other feature film scores included “Kull the Conqueror,” “Army of One,” “Shiloh” and “Diamonds.” He scored the videogame “Call of Duty 3,” and he contributed about 20 minutes of music (mostly for the Borg characters) to his father’s “Star Trek: First Contact” score in 1996.

Born in Los Angeles, Goldsmith started in film sound, first as a boom man on low-budget features, then as a sound mixer, sound effects creator (on “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” also scored by his father) and eventually as composer.

Survivors include his wife Martha; a daughter and two stepdaughters; his mother and stepmother; three sisters and a brother.

Services will be held at 12 noon Friday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.

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