Acclaimed film composer who won two Academy Awards for his work on the soundtrack for the 1997 film Titanic. He also earned Academy Award nominations for scoring Aliens (1986), Field of Dreams (1989), Apollo 13 (1995), Braveheart (1995), A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Avatar (2009).
He began playing piano when he was five years old. He received a bachelor's degree from USC, then went on to earn his doctorate from UCLA.
He composed the song "Cutting Cards" for the HBO horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt.
He was born to Austrian Jewish immigrants. His father Harry was a production designer, set designer, and film director. He fathered two daughters with longtime partner Sarah Horner.