Film composer Paul Dunlap dies at 90

Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:41pm EDT
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By Mike Barnes

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Paul Dunlap, a prolific film composer for three decades and a frequent collaborator of Sam Fuller, died March 11 in Palm Springs. He was 90.

The classically trained Dunlap composed the soundtracks for more than 133 films and TV shows and worked on another 50 pictures and television episodes as a conductor, musical director, music supervisor and orchestrator, often composing incidental music as well.

Dunlap worked with fiery writer-director Fuller on such films as "The Baron of Arizona" (1950), starring Vincent Price, "The Steel Helmet" (1951), "Park Row" (1952), "Shock Corridor" (1963) and "The Naked Kiss" (1964).

He also wrote the soundtracks for six movies directed by Harold D. Schuster, including the Western "Jack Slade" (1953), and worked on numerous TV shows, including "Have Gun, Will Travel." He was admired for his Western scores and sci-fi sound effects.

A native of Springfield, Ohio, Dunlap also worked on a number of B movies. He composed the scores for Abbott & Costello's final film, "Dance With Me, Henry" (1956); several Three Stooges films of the early '60s; and "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" (1957). His most recent credit was as composer for "Gorp" (1980).

In his later years, Dunlap wrote an opera and a choral piece.

"I can only hope that I will be remembered for my piano concerto, or my choral piece, 'Celebration,' and not the inferior movies I was forced to be associated with," Dunlap once said.

In his heyday, Dunlap entertained at the Formosa Cafe in Hollywood and was pals with Doris Day, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, Anne Baxter and producer Lindsley Parsons Sr.