Born on October 20, 1955, Thomas Montgomery Newman shares his profession with several other members of his family. The son of Alfred Newman, who composed music for films since the early 1930s up until his death in 1970, he is also the nephew of Lionel Newman and Emil Newman, both major Hollywood music directors, as well as the cousin of Randy Newman, a musician most well-known as the composer and songwriter for children's pictures including Toy Story, A Bug's Life, and Monsters, Inc.

Newman grew up in Los Angeles and attended college at the University of Southern California, finally earning a masters in music from Yale. He played in multiple bands, including The Innocents and Tokyo 77 and did work in theater, where his talent was recognized by Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim in his score for a theatrical production entitled Three Mean Fairy Tales.

Newman's breakthrough into mainstream film music occured in 1983, when his uncle allowed him the opportunity to orchestrate cues to John Williams's score during the final scene of Return of the Jedi. Soon afterward, a friend asked Newman to assist with scoring for the 1984 film Reckless, his first motion picture score.

Perhaps most remarkable about Newman is his unique style of composition. In addition to traditional orchestral instrumentation, Newman often makes use of exotic, decidedly non-traditional sounds in his soundtracks, venturing into unique ethnic and electronic flavors that add an energetic distinction to even the most mundane of film settings.

During the 1990s, Newman began to gain distinction as one of the most talented and innovative composers in Hollywood. His score for 1992's Scent of a Woman, earned him much mainstream recognition, as well as a BMI Film Music Award (an honor which he would recieve multiple times for later works). His haunting soundtracks for The Shawshank Redemption and Little Women were both nominated for Oscars in 1994. He has scored music for the opening title sequences of the television programs Six Feet Under and Boston Public, though Newman's most famous and, argueably, best work was for Sam Mendes's 1999 film American Beauty, which, in addition to be nominated for an Oscar, also won a Grammy for Best Soundtrack.

Complete Filmography:

1984 - Reckless, Grandview, U.S.A, Revenge of the Nerds
1985 - Desperately Seeking Susan, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, The Man With One Red Shoe, Real Genius
1986 - Jumpin' Jack Flash, Gung Ho
1987 - Light of Day, The Lost Boys, Less Than Zero
1988 - The Great Outdoors, The Prince of Pennsylvania
1989 - Cookie
1990 - Men Don't Leave, Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael, Naked Tango
1991 - Career Opportunities, The Rapture, Decieved, The Linguini Incident, Fried Green Tomatoes
1992 - The Player, Whispers in the Dark, Scent of a Woman
1993 - Flesh and Bone, Josh and S.A.M.
1994 - Threesome, The Favor, Corrina, Corinna, The Shawshank Redemption, The War, Little Women
1995 - Unstrung Heroes, How to Make an American Quilt
1996 - Up Close and Personal, Phenomenon, American Buffalo, The People vs. Larry Flynt
1997 - Mad City, Red Corner, Oscar and Lucinda
1998 - The Horse Whisperer, Meet Joe Black
1999 - American Beauty, The Green Mile
2000 - Erin Brockovich, My Khmer Heart, Pay It Forward
2001 - In The Bedroom
2002 - The Salton Sea, Road to Perdition, White Oleander

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