'The Great Escape' composer Elmer Bernstein has died aged 82. The Oscar-winning musical genius - whose other famous scores include 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'The Ten Commandments' - passed away in his sleep at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday (18.08.04). His health had reportedly been declining over the past few years. Legendary director Martin Scorsese, who worked with Bernstein on the 1991 movie 'Cape Fear', once said of the accomplished pianist: "It's one thing to write music that reinforces a film, underscores it, or gives it added dramatic muscle. It's entirely another to write music that graces a film. "That's what Elmer Bernstein does, and that, for me, is his greatest gift." Bernstein, who was born in 1922, racked up an impressive 14 Oscar nominations in his 50-year career, for movies including 'The Age of Innocence' and, most recently, the 2002 film 'Far From Heaven'.
However, he only won one prestigious Academy Award for his work on the 1967 musical 'Thoroughly Modern Millie', which starred Julie Andrews. Bernstein also composed scores for the hit films 'To Kill A Mockingbird', 'Birdman of Alcatraz', 'An American Werewolf In London' and 'Ghostbusters'.