Mancini's Personality and Private Life
Mancini's long and warm friendship with Blake Edwards is proof of his gentle, unassuming personality. The producer of the present album, Shigekazu Tanaka, is another friend of Mancini's and he admits to being deeply impressed.
In his free time, Mancini occupies himself with his hobbies - photography, skiing and painting. He is also quite a wine collector, owning one of the best wine cellars in Southern California. He collects art works too, and he possesses four sculptures by Rodin and several oils. among which he cherishes a watercolour by Johnny Mercer (who wrote the lyrics for "Moon River") and a small still-life by James Cagney.
In the Aliquippa High School's 1942 yearbook, we can find the following description of the youthful Mancini: "A true music lover, collects records, plays in the band and has even composed several beautiful selections. He wishes to continue his study of music and to have an orchestra of his own some day." And he has not forgotten how important such aspirations can be. Mancini is as generous as he is successful: he has established music scholarships at UCLA and the Juilliard School of Music, donating over $250,000 for young people hoping to follow musical careers.
As an aside, it can be mentioned that, since he has been awarded honorary doctorates by four universities - including Pennsylvania's Washington & Jefferson College - we can refer to him as "Doctor Mancini".
Without exception, the Mancinis are a family of excellent musicians. Ginny has, of course, pursued a singing career, while the twin daughters, Felice and Monica, are frequently featured in the chorus backing for their father's recordings. Monica has also worked with Peter Marshall and Vikki Carr. Besides composing and having his own rock group, son Chris has appeared and performed in several films and films-for-TV. He even starred in Ross Hunter's Suddenly Love with his sister, Monica. Chris has begun to make a name for himself as a young and upcoming musician in his own right.
Mancini doesn't stay up late at night struggling to produce a score. He does most of his composing during normal working hours, in the guiet of his study at home. A few years ago. he returned to his hometown of Aliquippa. In order to honour the great composer/musician raised in Aliquippa, the local citizens put on a "Mancini Day" celebration, complete with marching bands. That evening, after he finished attending the various festivities. Mancini ran into a former schoolmate who slapped his back and said. "Why, Hank Mancini! You old son of-a-gun! It's been a long time.'' - adding "By the way, what are you doing these days?"
Over two decades have passed since Mancini first teamed up with Blake Edwards; in fact, Blind Date was their 25th collaboration. Edwards married Julie Andrews, who is also an old friend of the composer, although Mancini complains that the couple kept their relationship a secret.
I myself once had a brief, one-hour interview with Mancini. It was in a hotel lobby, over 10 years ago, but I cannot forget his warm personality. Although he was not very talkative, his innate sincerity was brought out in his answers to my questions. Every time I hear a Mancini melody, I remember his smile.
SoundtrackFan © 2002 - 2013 - This is an unofficial fan site. It is not licensed, approved or sponsored by any of the composers, or their copyright owners. For personal, Non Profit use only.