Johnny Mandel, the Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriter of “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Emily” and the theme from “MASH,” has died at 94.
Mandel was considered one of the finest arrangers of the second half of the 20th century, providing elegant orchestral charts for a wide range of vocalists including Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole and Hoagy Carmichael.
Mandel scored more than 30 films during his Hollywood career, including the 1960s films “The Americanization of Emily” (from which the hit song “Emily” emerged), “The Sandpiper” (which contained “The Shadow of Your Smile,” earning an Oscar and a Grammy for Song of the Year along with lyricist Paul Francis Webster), “Harper,” “An American Dream” (which included the Oscar-nominated song “A Time for Love”), “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” and “Point Blank.”
“I was so sad to learn that a hero of mine, Johnny Mandel, passed away,” wrote Michael Buble on Twitter. “He was a genius and one of my favorite writers, arrangers, and personalities. He was a beast.”
His five Grammys included two for “The Sandpiper” (1965, song and score) and arranging honors for albums by Quincy Jones (1981), Natalie Cole (“Unforgettable,” 1991) and Shirley Horn (1992).
Throughout his film-scoring period (1958-1990) and beyond, Mandel continued to arrange for leading artists including Mel Torme, Anita O’Day, Nancy Wilson, Diana Krall, Michael Bolton, Barry Manilow and Manhattan Transfer. He also served on ASCAP’s board of directors for many years.
Our condolences go out to his family and friends.