|Dick DeBenedictis '58|
|October 12, 2012|
Dick DeBenedictis is an American composer noted for composing music for television, the stage, and film. He graduated from the IC School of Music in 1958 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
In his work for television, he composed the themes and many episode scores for many long running Viacom series’ including "Matlock," "Father Dowling," "Jake and The Fatman," and "Diagnosis Murder," as well as the pilot for "Heat of The Night." He scored all 36 installments of the "Perry Mason" two hour movies as well as numerous "Columbo" movies of the week. A sampling of his vast television credits include "Quincy," "Murder She Wrote," "Hawaii Five-O," "Rockford Files" and 3 MTM comedies as well as many other pilots and series. He also composed and sang the title song for the syndicated series "What a Country" and has received a number of ASCAP Awards for Most Performed Themes and Underscore.
De Benedictis began his Broadway career as a rehearsal pianist and then dance arranger for such musicals as "Fade Out, Fade In" with Carol Burnett, "Bajour" with Chita Rivera, and "Do I Hear a Waltz" with Richard Rodgers and Steven Sondheim, as well as the revivals of "Annie Get Your Gun" with Ethel Merman, and "Showboat." He made his Broadway debut as producer with Bill Dyer when they presented "The Suicide" with Derek Jacobi. They also produced the Westwood Playhouse Musical Review of "Get Happy-The Music of Harold Arlen."
In the field of films, he created the dance music for "The Night They Raided Minsky's," he was a special consultant and involved in the music production for "Funny Lady" and wrote the score for William Holden's last film "The Earthling," to name a few.
Dick has earned ten Emmy Nominations for his work on "Ziegfeld-The Man and His Woman," "Dear Detective," "Police Story," "Perry Mason," "Matlock," "Diagnosis Murder," and others.
In addition to his film and television credits, Dick has acted as music director/arranger and/or accompanist for such stars as Chita Rivera, Liza Minelli, Bing Crosby, Lily Tomlin, Bernadette Peters, Michelle Lee, Carol Burnett and Barbara Streisand.
Recently, Dick has written the book, music and lyrics for three musicals, one of which "The Gentleman Cole," was produced at Cal Lutheran University, "Mind Games," which is under construction by NYU and the other "Bert n' Eddie," the story of Bert Williams and Eddie Cantor, which was presented at Pierce College in January of 2005. He's also written a number of feature film screenplays: "The Mercy Killer," "The Change of Heart" - a Christmas musical, as well as, "Marilyn Monroe is Missing" and "Hollywoodland" which he cowrote with Bill Dyer.
In addition to writing, Dick has taught Music Theatre Performance and Audition Technique at Cal State Northridge (1970's), Cal Arts and USC (1980's), as well as Cal Lutheran, Pepperdine and Pierce College Master Classes. He's also guest lectured in film composition at various colleges and universities throughout Southern California.