Family & Companions
Noted for his bouncy film scores that are a throwback to the heyday of the Tin Pan Alley composers, Marc Shaiman first gained prominence as the musical director for Bette Midler and her back-up singers, The Harlettes, in the mid-1970s. As a teenager, he had dropped out of high school and moved to NYC in the hopes of working with Midler. When her pianist, Barry Manilow, moved on, the Divine Miss M hired Shaiman and their careers have been intertwined since. He has worked on numerous stage shows with Midler, written special material for the artist and served as music supervisor on several of her films, notably "Beaches" (1988), to which he also contributed the song "Otto Titsling," and "For the Boys" (1991), for which he co-wrote the song "Dixie's Dream." He also scored Paul Mazursky's "Scenes From a Mall" (1991) and Hugh Wilson's "The First Wives Club" (1996), both starring Midler, and collaborated with her on the TV specials "Bette Midler's Mondo Beyondo" (HBO, 1988), "Bette Midler--Diva Las Vegas" (HBO, 1997) and "Jackie's Back!" (Lifetime, 1999).
In the late 80s, Shaiman's work writing special music for NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (for which he earned an Emmy nomination in 1987) introduced him to Billy Crystal, who helped him get the job adapting music for Rob Reiner's "When Harry Met Sally" (1989). He co-wrote two of the picture's songs and co-produced Harry Connick Jr.'s Grammy-winning, gold album of the same name, garnering a Grammy nomination himself as arranger. He solidified his association with Reiner by composing his first film score for the director's "Misery" (1990) and has since scored all or part of Reiner's "A Few Good Men" (1992), "North" (1994), "The American President" (1995), "The Ghosts of Mississippi" (1996) and "The Story of Us" (1999). As for Crystal, he tapped the composer to score "City Slickers" (1991), "Mr. Saturday Night" (1992), "City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold" (1994), "Forget Paris" (1995) and "My Giant" (1998), all starring the comic actor. Shaiman earned an Emmy nomination as Crystal's musical director for "The 63rd Annual Academy Awards" (1991) and pocketed the award the following year for his contributions to Crystal's hosting of "The 64th Annual Academy Awards," not to mention teaming with him on several TV specials.
Shaiman has also enjoyed a long and fruitful collaboration with producer Scott Rudin, who first hired him to score Barry Sonnenfeld's "The Addams Family" (1991), followed quickly by "Sister Act" (1992) and the sequels "Addams Family Values" and "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" (both 1993). They also teamed on "In & Out" (1997), the first gay-themed picture that the openly homosexual Shaiman scored, as well as Albert Brooks' "Mother" (1996) and two of the first five films for which Shaiman would receive Oscar nominations. He was first honored for the jaunty original song "A Wink and a Smile," used in Nora Ephron's smash "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993), then garnered nominations for the scores of "The American President," "The First Wives Club" (produced by Rudin) and "Patch Adams" (1998). His fifth nod came as co-writer (with director Trey Parker) of the irreverent "Blame Canada" from "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" (1999, executive produced by Rudin).
Shaiman made his onscreen acting debut as one of the news theme writers in "Broadcast News" (1987) and had cameos as a Conductor in "The Addams Family" and as Lucky Zinberg in "Mr. Saturday Night." Otherwise, he has played the Piano Player (or Pianist or Piano Accompanist) in four films ("Scenes from a Mall," "Hot Shots!" 1991, "Heart and Souls" 1993, "North"). Although quite happy with the genres in which he currently has worked, he has expressed his dislike for the fact that he has become typecast as a composer of theatrical and comedic scores yet still has to audition to sell his music for films of that ilk.
Shaiman has worked as a musical director and arranger for a long list of performers, including Rosemary Clooney, Lauryn Hill, Patti LuPone, Luther Vandross and Raquel Welch. He has stated that he is most proud to have musical directed "Commitment to Life VII," which featured Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Whitney Houston, Angela Lansbury, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen and Elizabeth Taylor and which raised over $5 million for AIDS Project L.A. (APLA).
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Special)
Misc. Crew (Special)
Music (TV Mini-Series)
Film debut as music arranger, "Divine Madness", a concert film starring Midler
Broadway acting debut, "Harlem Nocturne"
Stage music-writing debut, "Gotta Getaway!" at Radio City Music Hall
First TV job as music director, "Women of the Night" (HBO)
Feature acting debut, "Broadcast News"
Was music supervisor on two films starring Midler, "Big Business" and "Beaches"
Association with Crystal led to the job of adapting songs for "When Harry Met Sally"; first collaboration with director Rob Reiner; also wrote two of the film's songs; served as producer along with Harry Connick Jr on Connick's resulting Grammy-winning album; received a Grammy nomination for Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal; would also receive Grammy nod for his arrangements accompanying the vocals of Connick's "We Are in Love" (1991)
First film score, Reiner's "Misery"
Composed music for "Scenes From a Mall", starring Midler; was a song producer on "For the Boys" (also starring Midler), for which he co-wrote the song "Dixie's Dream"
First collaboration with producer Scott Rudin, Barry Sonnenfeld's "The Addams Family"
Wrote special musical material for Crystal for "The 64th Annual Academy Awards" (ABC), earning an Emmy; had received an Emmy nomination for the previous year's awards
Reteamed with Crystal on "City Slickers"; also first film with director Ron Underwood
Scored Crystal's feature directing debut, "Mr. Saturday Night"
Reteamed with Underwood on "Heart and Souls"
Credited as associate producer on "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit"
Garnered first Oscar nomination for song "A Wink and a Smile" (from "Sleepless in Seattle"), co-written with Ramsey McLean; performed by Connick
Reteamed with Rudin and Sonnenfeld for the sequel "Addams Family Values" and with Midler for "Hocus Pocus" (as song producer and arranger)
Again collaborated with Underwood on "Speechless"
Earned Oscar nod for Best Original Comedy or Musical Score for Rob Reiner's "The American President"
Reteamed with Crystal on his sophomore directing effort, "Forget Paris"
Received Academy Award nomination for the score of "The First Wives Club", starring Midler and Goldie Hawn
Seventh film with Rudin, "In & Out"; co-wrote the song "Hail to Thee O Greenleaf High" with screenwriter Paul Rudnick
Picked up fourth Oscar nomination for the score of "Patch Adams"
Collaborated with Eric Clapton on the score for Reiner's "The Story of Us"; also scored "The Out-of-Towners", featuring Hawn and Steve Martin
Wrote the musical score for the animated "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut"; also contributed to the songs; shared a Best Original Song Academy Award nomination with Trey Parker for "Blame Canada"; film executive produced by Rudin
Penned the score for "Disney's The Kid"
With Scott Wittman, wrote the score for the stage musical version of John Waters' film "Hairspray"; performed in workshop; premiered on Broadway in summer 2002
Wrote the music for an original musical for ABC TV called "Livin' Dolls"; first TV-movie