21 August 1945
Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, United States
8 November 2006 (aged 61)
Basilis Konstantine "Basil" Poledouris (21 August 1945 – 8 November 2006) was a Greek-American music composer specialized in the scores for movies and television shows. Poledouris won the Emmy Award for Best Musical Score for work on part four of the TV miniseries Lonesome Dove in 1989.
Basil Poledouris was born in Kansas City, Missouri, United States. He credited two influences with guiding him towards music: the first was composer Miklós Rózsa, the second was his Greek Orthodox heritage. Poledouris was raised in the Church, and he used to sit in services, enthralled with the choir's sound. At the age of seven, Poledouris began piano lessons, and after high school graduation, he enrolled at the University of Southern California to study both filmmaking and music. Several short films to which he contributed are still kept in the university's archives. At U.S.C., Poledouris met the movie directors John Milius and Randal Kleiser, with whom he would later collaborate as a music composer. In 1985, Poledouris wrote the music for the movie, Flesh + Blood, for the Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, establishing another ongoing collaboration in films.
Poledouris became renowned for his powerfully epic style of orchestral composition and his intricate thematic designs, and he garnered attention for his scores to The Blue Lagoon (1980; dir: Kleiser); Conan the Barbarian (1982; dir: Milius); Conan the Destroyer (1984); Red Dawn (1984; dir: Milius), RoboCop (1987; dir: Verhoeven); The Hunt for Red October (1990); Free Willy (1993) and its first sequel; Starship Troopers (1997; dir: Verhoeven); and For Love of the Game (1999).
Poledouris's studio, "Blowtorch Flats", is located in Venice, California, and is a professional mixing facility specializing in film and media production.
Poledouris married his wife, Bobbie, in 1969 and had two daughters, Zoë and Alexis. His elder daughter, Zoë Poledouris, is an actress and film composer, who occasionally collaborated with her father in composing film soundtracks.
Poledouris's score for Conan the Barbarian is considered by many to be one of the finest examples of motion picture scoring ever written.
In 1996, Poledouris composed the The Tradition of the Games for the Atlanta Olympics opening ceremony that accompanied the memorable dance tribute to the athletes and goddesses of victory of the ancient Greek Olympics using silhouette imagery.
Poledouris spent the last four years of his life residing on Vashon Island, in Washington State, and he died on November 8, 2006, in Los Angeles, California, aged 61, from cancer.
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