John Green, who pursued a music career despite advice from his father and won five Oscars for movie scores including "An American in Paris" and "Easter Parade," has died. He was 80.
Green died at home Monday night of pulmonary edema, said his spokesman Frank Liberman. Green had suffered a stroke two years ago."He was the best of his kind," said frequent collaborator Gene Kelly. "There are none like him around any more. . . . He was the granddad of the musical score on every movie."
Green, an accomplished pianist, began playing at age 3. Nine years later, he became a protege of George Gershwin.
Green received 14 Academy Award nominations in a career spanning decades. His Oscar victories came for scoring "Easter Parade," "An American in Paris," "West Side Story" and "Oliver!" and for producing the one-reel short subject "The Merry Wives of Windsor Overture."
Additional awards included the recording industry's Grammy, the film industry's Golden Globe and an Aggie, the highest award of the Songwriters Guild.
Green, who served as the general music director for MGM Studios from 1949 to 1958, either produced or conducted nine Oscar presentations, including the first shown on television in 1953. For that pioneering telecast, Green was named a lifetime member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Born Oct. 10, 1908 in New York, Green graduated at age 19 from Harvard University with an economics degree.
Green is survived by his wife of 45 years, Bonnie, a former showgirl at MGM, three daughters and four grandchildren.