Bernard Herrmann was born as Max Herman on June 29, 1911, New York City, U.S., to Ida Gorenstein and Abram Dardik. Herrmann attended high school at DeWitt Clinton High School. He later studied at New York University and the Juilliard School.
Bernard wrote the scores for two films William Dieterle’s The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. He then went on to compose music for films like Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, Citizen Kane, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Cape Fear, Fahrenheit 451, and Taxi Driver, Journey to the Center of the Earth and the Ray Harryhausen Dynamation epics The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, Mysterious Island and The Three Worlds of Gulliver. He also scored music for TV programs, including Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, Cimarron Strip, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Have Gun – Will Travel, and a1968 suspense TV movie, Companions in Nightmare. He has been the recipient of Academy awards in 1941 under the category of Music Score of a Dramatic Picture for the film The Devil and Daniel Webster. He also won British Academy Film Award under the category of Best Film Music for the film Taxi Driver in 1976.
Some of his notable scores include films like:
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Wrong Man
White Witch Doctor
Bernard initially married Lucille Fletcher on 2 October 1939, with whom he had two children. The couple later divorced in 1948. He then tied the knot with Lucy Anderson in August 1949, but the marriage couldn’t last longer and they divorced in 1964. He then married Norma Shepherd on 27 November 1967, who lived with him until his death. After completing the recording of the Taxi Driver soundtrack on December 23, 1975, Herrmann checked the rough cut for his next film project, Larry Cohen’s God Told Me To. After dining with Cohen, he returned to his hotel, and passed away due to a cardiac arrest in his sleep.