On this day, June 14, 1994, Enrico Nicola “Henry” Mancini died. Best-known works include the jazz-idiom theme to The Pink Panther film series (“The Pink Panther Theme”) and the theme to the Peter Gunn television series, Mancini had a long collaboration with the film director Blake Edwards and won numerous Academy Awards for the songs in Edwards films, including “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, “Days of Wine and Roses” and for the score to Victor Victoria.
Mancini died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles on June 14, 1994. He was working at the time on the Broadway stage version of Victor/Victoria, which he never saw on stage. Mancini was survived by his wife of 43 years, singer Virginia “Ginny” O’Connor, with whom he had three children.
He won a record number of Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.
1919 – Gene Barry (Eugene Klass) (actor: Bat Masterson, Burke’s Law, The Name of the Game, War of the Worlds, A Cry for Love, Our Miss Brooks, La Cage aux Folles; died Dec 9, 2009)
1919 – Sam Wanamaker (actor: Superman 4, Private Benjamin, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Taras Bulba; director: The Executioner, Killing of Randy Webster, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger; died Dec 18, 1993)
1954 – Will Patton (actor: Fled, Copycat, Natural Causes, The Client, Midnight Edition, Dillinger, No Way Out, Desperately Seeking Susan, Silkwood; Obie Award-winner: Tourists and Refugees #2)
1968 – Yasmine Bleeth (actress: Nash Bridges, Baywatch, Titans)