Added on 18-Nov-2003
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar-nominated composer, conductor and arranger Michael Kamen, one of Hollywood's most sought-after musicians, died at age 55 on Tuesday after suffering from multiple sclerosis for several years, members of his family said.
Kamen died in a hospital in London, where he had lived with his wife and two daughters, his brother Leonard said during a telephone interview from New York.
Doctors were unable to resuscitate Kamen following a "cardiac event," he said.
The native New Yorker and Juilliard School of Music Graduate was one of Hollywood's most successful composers who worked on music for the "Lethal Weapon" series and scored "Die Hard" among many other films.
He was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996, but did not go public about the disease until late September.
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that causes various disabilities.
Kamen grew up in Queens, the son of liberal activists.
In the late 1960s, he helped found the New York Rock 'n' Roll Ensemble, a critically acclaimed group that fused classical with pop and recorded five albums before dissolving.
In the 1970s, Kamen scored ballets, served as musical director for David Bowie (news)'s "Diamond Dogs" tour and began writing scores for film.
Although he began in Hollywood working on offbeat films like "Polyester" and "Brazil," he turned more mainstream in the 1980s, working on the "Lethal Weapon" series, "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," "Mr. Holland's Opus" and "X-Men," plus the HBO series "Band of Brothers."
In 1991, Kamen earned his first Academy Award nomination for "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You," the Bryan Adams (news) pop hit from the movie, "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves."
Co-written with Adams and Robert John "Mutt" Lange, the song received two Grammys (news - web sites). The three united in 1993 for "All for Love." In 1999, Kamen conducted the orchestra which backed Metallica (news - web sites) on their S&M project.