Maurice Jarre, the French composer and conductor who wrote Lara's Theme, the Oscar-winning song from the film Doctor Zhivago, has died. He was 84.
Jarre died Sunday in his Los Angeles home after a battle with cancer, his family said Monday.
Jarre was a three-time Academy Award winner, for his compositions for Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia and A Passage to India.
He was nominated an additional six times, for Ghost, Gorillas in the Mist, Witness, The Message, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and French film Les Dimanches de Villes d'Avray.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute to Jarre on Monday, saying he was "a great composer" who produced "majestic and full-bodied works."
"By working with some of the greatest filmmakers in the world, he showed that music can be just as important as pictures to make a beautiful and successful film," Sarkozy said.
Born Maurice-Alexis Jarre in Lyons, France, on Sept. 13, 1924, he initially studied engineering at the Sorbonne in Paris, but switched to the Conservatoire de Paris to study composition and harmony.
He became the Théâtre National Populaire director, before writing his first movie score in 1951.
In 1961, producer Sam Spiegel asked him to write the score for Lawrence of Arabia and he earned his first Oscar.
It was Jarre's introduction to Hollywood and he moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s. He went on to work with directors such as John Frankenheimer, John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock and David Lean, with whom he made four films, including A Passage to India, Ryan's Daughter and Doctor Zhivago.
Liza Minnelli made a hit out of his song It Was A Good Time, written for Ryan's Daughter. His score for Doctor Zhivago was notable for its sweeping symphonic music that incorporated Russian balalaikas.
Jarre composed music for more than 150 films, winning four Golden Globes and a Grammy as well as his Academy Awards.
He won a BAFTA award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for his music for Dead Poet's Society in 1989 and did a string of science fiction movies, including The Island at the Top of the World and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
His early music was mostly symphonic, but he also composed songs, including a love song for Fatal Attraction, and experimented with synthesizer music in films such as The Year of Living Dangerously and No Way Out.
For TV, he worked with Franco Zefferelli on Jesus of Nazareth, Jerry London on Shogun and William Hale on The Murder of Mary Phagan.
He last movie scores were for 2000's I Dreamed of Africa and 2001's The Uprising.
In February, he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Berlin Film Festival.
"Film composers often are in the shadows of great directors and acting stars," festival director Dieter Kosslick said in his tribute to Jarre.
"It's different with Maurice Jarre — the music of Doctor Zhivago, like much of his work, is world famous and remains unforgettable in cinema history."
Jarre was married four times and had two sons and a daughter. His sons include screenwriter Kevin Jarre and electronic musician Jean Michel Jarre.