Gerald Fried, Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated composer, dead at 95

Gerald Fried, Emmy-winning composer of the “Roots” miniseries and scores of other TV projects, died Friday in Connecticut of pneumonia, according to media reports. He was 95.

Born in the Bronx on Feb. 13, 1928, Fried attended New York’s High School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music.

He was first oboist with the Dallas Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and New York’s Little Orchestra, eventually fleeing to California to play with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for one season.

He began busying himself in Hollywood in the late 1950s by composing for blockbusters, TV series and more.

Fried scored five Emmy nominations and one win, in 1977, for Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series, for “Roots.”

Gerald Fried, Hollywood composer, has passed away
His most remarkable career accomplishment is his Emmy win for his work for “Roots.”
Courtesy of Jonathan David Dixon

Variety reports he got that gig amid producer fears the production wouldn’t finish on time with the original composer, Quincy Jones, reportedly missing deadlines.

Fried was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score, for the 1974 animal sexuality documentary “Birds Do It, Bees Do It.”

Gerald and Anita on red carpet
He is survived by his wife, Anita, and their large family.

Throughout his six-decade career, he worked on musical compositions for dozens of TV projects, such as “Star Trek,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” Gunsmoke,” and more.

Perhaps most notably, the composer scored several films helmed by his childhood friend, Stanley Kubrick, including “The Killing” (1956) and “Paths of Glory” (1957).

In a 2003 interview with the Television Academy, Fried recalled his prolific career and the pressures that accompanied it.

Gerald Fried, Hollywood composer, has passed away
He attended Juilliard and played in orchestras before heading to Hollywood.
Courtesy of Jonathan David Dixon

“In TV, you see it once, go home, and next Friday you’re conducting the music,” he said at the time. “It was terrifying and exhilarating. The schedules were so tight, I had to go on my first ideas. There was an orchestra waiting and you had to have the music ready. With that kind of pressure, you learn real fast what works and what doesn’t.”

Fried was also an activist who supported the efforts to quell the AIDS crisis. He lost his own son, Zack, at just 5 years old to AIDS in 1987 after he received a blood transfusion that contained HIV.

Fried is survived by his wife, Anita, four children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. The Post was unable to reach a relative for comment Saturday.