Michel Colombier, who scored movies including 'Purple
Rain,' dies at 65
San Jose Mercury News | Wed, Nov. 17, 2004
LOS ANGELES - Michel Colombier, who scored more than 100 movies and television productions
including "White Nights," "Against All Odds," and "Purple Rain," has died. He was 65.
Colombier, who also composed chamber music pieces and more than 20 ballets, died Sunday of cancer
at his home in Santa Monica.
Colombier was French-born and was often called the "godfather of French fusion" or, in Japan,
He had the versatility to write classical phrases for Mikhail Baryshnikov's ballet steps in
"White Nights," collaborate with Prince on futuristic rock sounds for "Purple Rain," and create
gritty, rhythmic music for "New Jack City."
Colombier was classically trained as a pianist at the Paris Conservatory. He performed on the
soundtracks of some of the films he scored, including "The Golden Child," a 1986 movie starring
Other films with his music include "The Money Pit" with Tom Hanks, "Ruthless People" with Danny
DeVito and Bette Midler, "Surrender" with Sally Field and Michael Caine, "How Stella Got Her
Groove Back" with Angela Bassett and "Swept Away" with Madonna.
His television work included the "Desperado" series for NBC in the late 1980s and HBO's "Tales
From the Crypt." He directed such top orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Paris Opera
and the London Symphony.
His awards included the Cesar, the Edison Prize and a Tokyo Music Award.
Colombier is survived by his wife, Dana; six children, Christian, Agathe, David, Emily, Siena and
Arabella; and a sister, Marie-Francoise Hoessler.
A memorial observance was being planned.
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