On Sunday, December 11, renowned composer Angelo Badalamenti passed away at the age of 85. His contributions to several movies and TV programs, including Law and Disorder, Tough Guys Don’t Dance, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, Stalingrad, Twin Peaks, and others, are well recognized.
The composer, a devoted husband, father, and grandpa, “went away on December 11, 2022, peacefully of natural causes, surrounded by his family,” according to a statement issued by his family on Monday, December 12. Badalamenti began his career in film as a co-composer with Al Elias on Ossie Davis’ 1973 crime thriller Gordon’s War, earning composer credits on more than 50 feature films.
His big break came in 1986 when David Lynch hired him to be Isabella Rossellini’s vocal instructor for the crime thriller Blue Velvet. In addition to conducting the orchestra and playing the piano on-screen as Rossellini sang, Badalamenti created the film’s score and two songs. The 1990–1991 Twin Peaks TV series, the 1992 film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and the 2017 revival of the program were among the ten projects Lynch and I worked on together.
On December 12, Lynch said, “Today, no music,” in his daily “Weather Report” YouTube video homage to Badalamenti. For the Twin Peaks theme, Badalamenti received the 1990 Grammy for best pop instrumental performance. Other notable works include Danny Boyle’s The Beach, Paul Schrader’s five features, Jane Campion’s Holy Smoke!, and Joel Schumacher’s Cousins for Paramount. Over the course of his career, David Bowie, Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey, Paul McCartney, Liza Minelli, Roberta Flack, and the Pet Shop Boys were among the notable musicians with whom Badalamenti worked.
At the 2008 Field Soundtrack Awards, he was given a lifetime achievement award. In 2011, Lynch was presented with the Henry Mancini Award, given by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers for exceptional achievements and services to the cinema and television music world.
Lonny, Badalamenti’s wife, and their two kids are left behind.