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Angela Morley

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Angela Morley

Biography

Angela Morley (10 March 1926, Leeds, UK – 14 January 2009, Scottsdale, Ariz.) was an English composer and conductor.

Ms. Morley started out playing saxophone in Geraldo’s band before taking composition lessons with Mátyás György Seiber and embarking on a prolific career as composer/arranger with films like Watership Down and The Slipper and the Rose, and music for two of the most famous comedy series of the 1950s, The Goons and Hancock’s Half-Hour. She worked extensively in the United States on television series such as Dallas, and with John Williams, weaving magic into arrangements for leading cross-over artists.

Morley became a familiar household name to BBC Radio listeners in the 1950s. She attributed her entry into composing and arranging largely to the influence and encouragement of the Canadian light music composer Robert Farnon. Morley transitioned in 1972 and thereafter lived openly as a transgender woman. Later in life, she lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, until her death.

Morley won three Emmy Awards for her work in music arrangement. These were in the category of Outstanding Music Direction, in 1985, 1988 and 1990, for Christmas in Washington and two television specials starring Julie Andrews. Morley also received eight Emmy nominations for composing music for television series such as Dynasty and Dallas. She was twice nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Original Song Score: first for The Little Prince (1974), a nomination shared with Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, and Douglas Gamley; and second for The Slipper and the Rose (1976), which Morley shared with Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.

Angela Morley was the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Academy Award.


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