Angelo Badalamenti Dead at 85, ‘Twin Peaks’ and ‘Blue Velvet’ Composer

Angelo Badalamenti, the composer best known for collaborating with David Lynch on Twin Peaks (including the ABC series’ haunting, iconic theme) and many other projects, died on Sunday at age 85.

A family member shared the news on Instagram, writing, “My great uncle Angelo Badalamenti has crossed the barrier onto another plane of existence.

“Between his work on Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Cabin Fever, Nightmare On Elm Street 3 and a plethora of others, plus his relationships & collaborations with David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Nina Simone, Julee Cruise, Isabella Rosselini, Dolores O’Riordan, Anthrax, Dokken, Eli Roth and especially David Lynch, he has always been the most interesting man in the world to me. A true musical and artistic inspiration for me and countless others. Stayed true to his roots and family, never leaving North Jersey for LA. Not to mention the casual but mind blowing stories he never ran out of. He will truly be missed by many.”

Angelo Badalamenti Obituary

Badalamenti at the David Lynch Foundation’s “Change Begins Within” show at Radio City Music Hall in April 2009 (Getty Images)

Indeed, Badalamenti scored films such as Blue Velvet (in 1986), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (1987), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989 — yes, really!) and Wild at Heart (1990), before lending his talents to ABC’s Twin Peaks, where he collaborated with Lynch on the theme song “Falling” (sung by Julee Cruise) as well as numerous character-specific “themes” (such as “Audrey’s Dance”).

Badalamenti’s film and TV credits also included the movie prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), the theme for the Barcelona Summer Olympics in 1992, Inside the Actors Studio (1994), Lost Highway (1997), Mulholland Drive (2001) and Showtime’s Twin Peaks: The Return miniseries, which aired in 2017.

Badalamenti’s work with Lynch on Twin Peaks netted three Emmy Award nominations in 1990 — for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music (though there was no winner, since no nominee netted 50% approval to win the juried award), Outstanding Music and Lyrics (which was won by Larry Grossman and Buz Kohan for NBC’s First International Very Special Arts Festival), and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore), which they lost to Don Davis of CBS’ Beauty and the Beast.

That said, the soundtrack of the television series netted Badalamenti a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, for the “Twin Peaks Theme.”

Additionally, Badalamenti’s score for Mulholland Drive earned him his second Golden Globe nomination.

Watch the video below to be regaled by how Lynch collaborated with Badalamenti on “Laura Palmer’s Theme”:

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