Composer Herman Stein dies at 91

LOS ANGELES _ Herman Stein, a composer whose music for “It Came From Outer Space,” “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” and “The Incredible Shrinking Man” helped define the dramatic soundtrack of 1950s science fiction and horror movies, has died. He was 91.

Stein died of congestive heart failure at his Los Angeles home on March 15, his record producer, David Schecter, said Friday.

As a staff composer at Universal Studios, Stein collaborated with Henry Mancini and others to create music for nearly 200 movies and shorts, though he didn’t get credit for all of his work because of the studio’s tendency to give solo credit to a project’s music supervisor.

“It was an unwritten rule at Universal that if he wrote less than 80 percent of the score, then his name would not be credited in the picture,” Schecter said. “Herman had few credits to his name.”

Nonetheless, Stein has been recognized for writing or co-writing music for an array of movies, from Westerns to comedies to dramas. They include Roger Corman’s civil rights drama “The Intruder” and Douglas Sirk’s comedy “Has Anybody Seen My Gal?” His other notable horror film compositions include “Tarantula” and “King Kong vs. Godzilla.”

He also composed music for such television shows as “Gunsmoke,” “Lost in Space,” and “Daniel Boone.”

Leave a Reply