Notable Deaths


November 22, 2008


Composer for monster movies

Irving Gertz, a prolific though often uncredited B-movie composer whose melodies haunt a spate of pictures with words like Hell, Thing and Creature in the titles, died Nov. 14 at his home in Los Angeles.

His death was announced by David Schecter, a producer at Monstrous Movie Music, an independent record label specializing in science-fiction, fantasy and horror film music.

Active from the late 1940s to the late 1960s, Mr. Gertz composed or contributed to the scores of more than 200 films. He was most closely associated with three Hollywood studios: Columbia, Universal and 20th Century Fox.

Among the movies on which Mr. Gertz worked are many that, if not precisely classics, are enduring representatives of their genre: The Incredible Shrinking Man, It Came From Outer Space, The Creature Walks Among Us, The Monolith Monsters and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy.

Mr. Gertz contributed music to many television shows, including Land of the Giants and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. He also composed concert music.

His filmography also includes many westerns, among them H ell Bent for Leather and Hell Canyon Outlaws, as well as Top Gun, The Lone Gun, Gun Brothers, Gun Fury, Gun Belt, Gun for a Coward and Money, Women and Guns.

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