Richard Stone of West Hills, Calif., formerly of Jenkintown and Rydal, died March 9 at his residence after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 47.
Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of Janet Stone of Jenkintown and the late Oscar M. Stone.
Mr. Stone was a composer who won seven Emmys for his work on "Animaniacs" and other animated TV shows. He was widely considered the modern-day successor of Carl Stalling, whose wild musical scores accompanied many of the classic Warner Bros. cartoons of the '40s and '50s.
Since 1994, he had won Daytime Emmy Awards for his theme music for "Animaniacs" and "Freakazoid;" and five others for music direction and composition on "Animaniacs" and "Histeria!" He also scored many episodes of "Pinky and the Brain" and "Tazmania," including the title themes for both, and penned the themes for "Road Rovers" and "The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries."
Mr. Stone scored well over 100 cartoons since he began his animation-music career on the Steven Spielberg-produced "Tiny Toon Adventures" in 1991. He helped to revive the Stalling tradition of fully orchestrated scores for animation, synchronizing music to character movement and incorporating a sly musical sense of humor.
He was drawn to the music in theatrical cartoons, particularly the Stalling scores for Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and company, from an early age. He was exposed to music through his father's piano playing and his maternal grandfather's job as music critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
A graduate of Abington High School, Class of 1971, he studied cello and music theory at Indiana University and the Curtis Institute. He moved to California in 1980 and spent his first several years in the business as a music editor for such composers as Georges Delerue (on "Platoon" and other films) and Maurice Jarre (on "Witness").
He went on to write music for various feature films and television projects, including the cult classics "Sundown: The Vampire Retreat" and "Pumpkinhead," as well as "North Shore" and the miniseries "In a Child's Name."
In addition to his mother, he is survived by two sons, Richard and Michael of West Hills, Calif.; a brother, David of Burbank, Calif.; a sister, Bonnie Sunstein of Iowa City, Iowa; and his former wives, Cathy Sumner Stone of Woodland Hills and Claudia Greenspoon Stone of Calabasas.
A memorial service will be scheduled within the next few weeks.
Memorial contributions in Mr. Stone's name may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, P.O. Box 1010, Torrance, CA 90505.
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