One of Hollywood's preeminent composers and musical directors, Saul Chaplin had worked on stage, screen and television since the days of Tin Pan Alley. In film, he won four Oscars for collaborating on the scores and orchestrations of An American in Paris (1951), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and West Side Story (1961). He was born Saul Kaplan in Brooklyn, New York. Following education at New York University's School of Commerce, Chaplin joined the ASCAP and started out penning tunes for the theatre, vaudeville and for New York's famous song-writing district, Tin Pan Alley. Chaplin scored his first movie, Manhattan Merry-Go-Round for Republic Studios in 1937. He hopped to Universal and scored two films there and then moved to Columbia to score Cover Girl and The Jolson Story. While on the latter film, Chaplin and Al Jolson penned the million-selling hit tune The Anniversary Song. In the late 1940s, Chaplin moved to MGM to work on a long string of films including On the Town (1949), Kiss Me Kate (1953) and High Society (1956). For collaborating on such hits as Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen and Please Be Kind, Chaplin was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
While he still continued composing, Chaplin became a movie producer in the early '60s and was behind such major features as The Sound of Music (1965), Man of La Mancha (1972) and That's Entertainment Part 2 (1976). He published his autobiography, The Golden Age of Movie Musicals and Me in 1994. In late 1997, the 85 year-old Chaplin suffered a bad fall and on November 15 died as a result of his injuries in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi