Johnny Mandel, ‘MASH’ Theme Composer, Dies at 94

He was also an orchestral arranger for Frank Sinatra and other stars

Johnny Mandel, an Oscar winner and composer of the “M*A*S*H” theme song, has died at the age of 94.

His death was confirmed by his close friend and musician, Michael Feinstein, on Facebook.

“A dear friend and extraordinary composer arranger and all-around brilliant talent Johnny Mandel just passed away,” Feinstein wrote. “The world will never be quite the same without his humor, wit and wry view of life and the human condition. He was truly beyond compare, and nobody could write or arrange the way he did. Lord will we miss him. Let’s celebrate him with his music! He would like that.”

Mandel won an Oscar and a Grammy for his original song, “The Shadow of Your Smile,” for the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton film “The Sandpiper” in 1966.

He is also known for composing and arranging orchestral scores for Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson.

The “M*A*S*H” theme song, “Suicide Is Painless,” had music written by Mandel and lyrics by 14-year-old Michael Altman, the son of director Robert Altman. It was first used for the “M*A*S*H” movie in 1970 and later for the TV series.

“I was so sad to hear that a hero of mine, Johnny Mandel, passed away,” musician Michael Bublé wrote on Twitter. “He was a genius and one of my favorite writers, arrangers, and personalities. He was a beast.”

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