Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated TV and film composer Perry Botkin Jr. has died at the age of 87. Botkin, known for creating The Young and The Restless theme song, died on Monday at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The composer’s death was first confirmed by his longtime friend John Scheinfeld. In a Facebook post, Scheinfeld remembered Botkin as "a magnificently talented composer, arranger, producer and story-teller." At this time, his cause of death has not been revealed.
Born in New York in 1933, Botkin's career spanned four decades and across numerous films and TV series, with his music career beginning in Los Angeles as a trombone player in a high school jazz quartet, according to Deadline. He later attended Indiana University and eventually the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, where he pursued the film scoring program. His career in the entertainment industry kicked off in 1956 when he appeared as Bunny Botkin in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, with his first music project following just two years later, when, in 1958, he helped create the soundtrack for The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. His first composing credit came in 1965 for My Brother the Angel.
Botkin, however, was best known for the iconic theme song for the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, which was titled "Nadia's Theme" when ABC's Wide World of Sports used it in a montage during the 1976 Summer Olympics, where the Romanian Comăneci, then 14, scored several perfect 10s en route to three gold medals. Created alongside Barry De Vorzon in the '70s, the tune earned them a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement in 1977 and it peaked at No. 8 in the U.S. In the years that followed, numerous other artists recorded the song, including Ray Conniff and Roger Williams. Botkin and De Vorzon's shared a Best Music, Original Song Oscar nomination for the title song from Stanley Kramer's Bless the Beasts & Children in 1972.
Botkin was also behind numerous other iconic theme songs, including Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and The Smothers Brothers. Botkin also worked as an arranger with collaborators including Phil Spector and Van Dyke Parks, and composed tunes for American Airlines, Baskin Robbins, Chevron, and Mattel. Botkin's film work included scores for Goin' South, Skyjacked, and They Only Kill Their Masters. He is survived by his wife Liza, son David, and grandson Daniel Tyler Botkin.