John Green, who entered Harvard at age 15 as an economics major but whose career as a composer and conductor earned him five Academy Awards, died Monday night at his Beverly Hills home, it was learned today.
The diminutive and personable Green, whose songs include "Body and Soul," "Out of Nowhere" and "I Cover the Waterfront," was 80. Known to his friends as "Johnny," he had suffered a stroke in 1987 and died of pulmonary edema.
Green, who wrote his first hit, "Coquette," while still a senior at Harvard, had long been a fixture on the Los Angeles music scene. In addition to a long tenure as music director at MGM, he for years was a fixture at the podium of the Hollywood Bowl summer concerts.
He was nominated 14 times for an Academy Award, winning five times: For scoring "An American in Paris" to the music of his old friend George Gershwin, for "Easter Parade," "West Side Story" and "Oliver" and as producer of a musical short based on "The Merry Wives of Windsor Overture."
He is survived by his third wife, Bonnie, and three daughters.