An Unsung Redshirt: Basil Poledouris

Diane Doyle

Basil Poledouris was primarily known for being a composer of many movie soundtracks, including Conan the Barbarian, Robocop, Lonesome Dove, Farewell to the King, Free Willy, Starship Troopers, and Les Miserables. As noted recently on, before he became known as a composer, he had acted as an extra in television shows, including Star Trek. In Star Trek, he had played the following characters: security officer Bardoli in the episode "Obsession":

Basil Poledouris

All images (c) Paramount Pictures/Viacom

All images (c) Paramount Pictures/Viacom

a Klingon in "Errand of Mercy":

All images (c) Paramount Pictures/Viacom

All images (c) Paramount Pictures/Viacom

and a Nazi soldier in "Patterns of Force":

All images (c) Paramount Pictures/Viacom

He's behind Melakon. All images (c) Paramount Pictures/Viacom

Poledouris, who was of Greek descent, was born on August 21, 1945 in Kansas City, Kansas. He attended University of Southern California where he studied music, directing, cinematography, editing, and sound. There, he met John Milnius, a fellow film student, who went on to become a film director and with whom he would frequently work. He had composed music for over 100 educational films before getting his break in feature films. His real breakthrough came in 1982 when he composed the sound track of Conan the Barbarian, an epic fantasy movie directed by Milnius.

According to Wikipedia:

Poledouris became renowned for his powerfully epic style of orchestral composition and his intricate thematic designs, and he garnered attention for his scores to The Blue Lagoon (1980; dir: Kleiser); Conan the Barbarian (1982; dir: Milius); Conan the Destroyer (1984); Red Dawn (1984; dir: Milius), RoboCop (1987; dir: Verhoeven); The Hunt for Red October (1990); Free Willy (1993) and its first sequel; Starship Troopers (1997; dir: Verhoeven); and For Love of the Game (1999).

He died of cancer on November 8, 2006.

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