Michel Legrand, Oscar-Winning Film Composer, Dies at 86

The Frenchman’s work includes the song “The Windmills of Your Mind,” as well as the scores for “Summer of ’42” and “Yentl”

Last Updated: January 26, 2019 @ 9:24 AM

Michel Legrand, the French composer who won three Oscars for his songs and film scores, died Saturday at age 86, according to his official website.

The son of conductor and composer Raymond Legrand, he first made his name as a musician and songwriter and then earned fame in the 1960s composing film scores — particularly Jacques Demy’s big-screen musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1964.

Four years later, Legrand won his first Oscar for the hit song “The Windmills of Your Mind” for the thriller “The Thomas Crown Affair.” (A cover by Dusty Springfield became a Billboard hit in 1969.)

He won two more Oscars, for his scores for 1971’s “Summer of ’42” and Barbra Streisand’s 1983 musical “Yentl.”

Over a career that spanned more than six decades, Legrand also racked up 10 additional Oscar nominations for his compositions for such films as “Umbrellas,” “The Young Girls of Roquefort,” “The Happy Ending,” “Pieces of Dreams” and “Best Friends.”

He also earned five Grammy Awards, the first in 1971 for “The Theme From Summer of ’42,” followed by two more in 1972 for his arrangement of “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” and the composition “Brian’s Song.”

In 1975, Legrand picked up two more Grammys for his work on the jazz album “Images.” In his offscreen work, he frequently collaborated with American jazz stars such as Miles Davis and Stan Getz.

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