On this Day in Movie History, June 17, 1902: Oscar Winning Composer Sammy Fain Born


You may be familiar with the song, but have you ever thought who wrote it? On this day, June 17, 1902 Oscar-winning musician, composer Sammy Fain (Samuel Feinberg) was born Fain composed such staples in the American songbook as Secret Love [1953], Love is a Many-Splendored Thing [1955]; April Love, A Certain Smile, A Very Precious Love, Tender is the Night, I’ll Be Seeing You, I Can Dream Can’t I, Let a Smile be Your Umbrella [most w/Irving Kahal].

Sammy Fain was born in New York City. In 1923, Fain appeared with Artie Dunn in a short film directed by Lee De Forest filmed in DeForest’s Phonofilm sound-on-film process. In 1925, Fain left the Fain-Dunn act to devote himself to music. Fain was a self-taught pianist who played by ear. He began working as a staff pianist and composer for music publisher Jack Mills.

Later, Fain worked extensively in collaboration with Irving Kahal. Fain also composed music for more than 30 films in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. He was nominated for the best Original Song Oscar nine times, winning twice, with “Secret Love” from Calamity Jane in 1954 and with “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing” from the movie of the same title in 1955. Fain wrote the second theme to the TV series Wagon Train in 1958, which was called “(Roll Along) Wagon Train”. He also contributed to the song scores for the Walt Disney animated films Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and The Rescuers.

In 1963, he collaborated with Harold Adamson in writing songs for the movie The Incredible Mr. Limpet, which came out in 1964, and such songs as “I Wish I Were a Fish”, “Be Careful How You Wish” and “Deep Rapture” enhanced his fame.

In 1972, he was inducted into The Songwriters Hall of Fame.[1]

Fain died in Los Angeles, California, and is interred at Cedar Park Cemetery, in Emerson, New Jersey.

1904 – Ralph (Rexford) Bellamy (actor: The Awful Truth, Trading Places, War & Remembrance, The Winds of War, Oh, God!, Rosemary’s Baby, Man Against Crime, The Eleventh Hour; panelist: To Tell the Truth; founder: Screen Actors’ Guild; president: Actors’ Equity; recipient of honorary Academy Award [1987]; died Nov 29, 1991)

1932 – Peter Lupus (actor: Mission: Impossible [TV], Think Big, Pulsebeat, Escapist, More! Police Squad, Muscle Beach Party)

1954 – Mark Linn-Baker (actor: Noises Off, Bare Essentials, Ghostwriter, My Favorite Year, Manhattan, Comedy Zone, Perfect Strangers)

1957 – Stephen Shellen (actor: Casual Sex?, Murder One, Counterstrike, A River Runs Through It, The Bodyguard, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Gone in Sixty Seconds, La Femme Nikita)

1960 – Thomas Haden Church (actor: Wings, Tombstone, George of the Jungle, One Night Stand, Goosed, Sideways)

1963 – Greg Kinnear (actor: What Planet Are You From?, Talk Soup, Blankman, Sabrina, As Good As It Gets, You’ve Got Mail, Mystery Men, Nurse Betty)

1966 – Jason Patric (Miller) (actor: The Journey of August King, Geronimo: An American Legend, Rush, Frankenstein Unbound, The Beast, The Lost Boys, Solarbabies, Toughlove, Speed 2: Cruise Control)

1975 – Joshua Leonard (actor: The Blair Witch Project, Men of Honor, Deuces Wild)


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