Angela Morley - Nominee

1924 - 2009

Angela Morley’s first memories were of sitting on the floor surrounded by the records she was playing on an enormous wind-up gramophone. During World War II, the 15 year old saxophone player, who was assigned male at birth, was in demand. She had an ability to sight read music and by age 20 she was performing with Geraldo’s Band, a top U.K. group. Self-taught until then, Morley began to study composition and conducting. At 29, she became music director of Philips Records (U.K.) – arranging for artists like Mel Torme and Rosemary Clooney. She conducted the dance orchestra while working as a music arranger for the BBC. During the 1950s she began scoring films. Following the death of her first wife, Morley remarried in 1970. It was in that relationship that she found the courage to confront her unspoken identity crisis. “It was only because of her love and support that I then was able to deal with the trauma, and begin to think about crossing over that terrifying gender border.” Following gender confirmation surgery in 1972, Angela Morley was officially born. In 1974, she received an Oscar nomination for best adapted score for ‘The Little Prince,’ and another in 1975 for ‘The Slipper and the Rose.’ She is best known for scoring the film ‘Watership Down’ (1977). She assisted John Williams with the orchestration of the scores to ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Superman,’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ From 1979-1990 Morley worked scoring for the Warner Brothers TV shows ‘Dallas,’ ‘Dynasty,’ ‘Falcon Crest,’ and ‘Hotel.’ During this period she received six Emmy Award nominations, winning three for musical direction of Julie Andrews’ TV Specials in 1988 and 1990. Angela Morley died at age 85 in 2009 from a fall and subsequent heart attack.

Angela Morley Headshot

Demography

Gender Female

Sexual Orientation Lesbian

Gender Identity Transgender

Ethnicity Caucasian/White

Nations Affiliated United Kingdom United States

Era/Epoch Information Age (1970-present) Post-Stonewall Era (1974-1980)

Field(s) of Contribution

Film

Music

Television

Commemorations & Honors

Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction Christmas in Washington (1985)

Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction Julie Andrews: The Sound of Christmas (1988)

Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction Great Performances: Julie Andrews in Concert (1990)

First Openly Transgender Person Academy Award Nominee for The Little Prince (1975)

Authorship

Original Biography Author
Owen Keehnen
Biography Edited By
Victor Salvo
Resources Coordination
Carrie Maxwell