Black Cauldron, Heavy Metal Composer Bernstein Dies

Composer Elmer Bernstein, who scored more than 250 films including Disney’s 1985 animated feature, The Black Cauldron, and Columbia Pictures’ 1981 adult toon, Heavy Metal, has died at the age of 82. The prolific artist and Oscar winner reportedly passed in his sleep Wednesday at his home in Ojai, Calif.

In addition to his work in animation, Bernstein composed for films as diverse as Ed Wood’s notorious 1953 B classic, Robot Monster, and the acclaimed 1960 western, The Magnificent Seven. He was nominated for 14 Oscars and won for 1967’s Thoroughly Modern Millie. His later work would include the 1980 comedy favorites Airplane! and Caddyshack, as well as the 1984 smash hit, Ghostbusters, and the digital effects-laden 1999 effort Wild Wild West.

Bernstein earned his last major feature credit on the critically acclaimed 2002 drama Far From Heaven, for which he received his final Oscar nomination. In addition, his Magnificent Seven theme was used in Michael Moore’s controversial hit documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11.

Bernstein is survived by his wife, Eve, two daughters, two sons and five grandchildren.