French Film Composer Colombier Dies in US
Wed Nov 17, 2004

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - French film and television composer Michel Colombier, who was a co-author of the score for Prince's film "Purple Rain" and who collaborated with a galaxy of French stars including Charles Aznavour and Serge Gainsbourg, has died at age 65, his family said on Wednesday.

A family spokesman said he died at his home after a fight against cancer.

Colombier scored over one hundred feature, cable and television films. In his native France, he worked with such directors as Claude Lelouch, Agnes Varda, Vittorio de Sica, Jean-Pierre Melville and Jacques Demi.

In the United States, his credits included "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "Ruthless People," "The Golden Child," "White Nights," "Against All Odds" and "Purple Rain."

Colombier received several film awards, including two Cesar Awards, the French equivalent of the Oscars.

Petula Clark chose him as her musical director and brought him to the United States, where he signed a contract with Herb Alpert of A&M records, a collaboration that produced the album "Wings," which was hailed as the first pop symphony and received three Grammy nominations.

He worked as a guest conductor with several leading orchestras and composed works for artists such as the Kronos String Quartet, Branford Marsalis and Stephane Grappelli.

He also wrote the music for more than 20 ballets.

He is survived by his wife, Dana, and their three daughters plus three children from a previous marriage.

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