Obituary

Perry Botkin Jr., Grammy-Winning Arranger of 'Nadia's Theme,' Dies at 87

Perry Botkin, Jr.
Courtesy of Family

Perry Botkin, Jr.

The Grammy winner and Oscar nominee also did music for 'Happy Days' and 'Mork and Mindy' and arranged Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman."

Perry Botkin Jr., the prolific film and TV composer, arranger and producer known for his themes to Happy Days, Mork and Mindy and The Young and the Restless — a tune forever associated with Olympic gymnast Nadia Comăneci — has died. He was 87.

Botkin died Monday (Jan. 18) at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, his publicist announced.

His career spanned four decades and also included work on such other TV shows as Laverne and Shirley, Adam's Rib, The Smothers Brothers Show and Quark.

Botkin's iconic theme song for the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless 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. The track earned Botkin a Grammy Award in 1977.

Botkin also worked as arranger with collaborators including Phil Spector and Van Dyke Parks. Among his arranging credits was "Rhythm of the Rain." He worked with artists such as Glen Campbell, Dory Previn, Barbra Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr., Bobby Darin, Jack Jones, Peggy Lee, the Association, the Everly Brothers, the Carpenters, the Supremes, the Ronettes, Connie Stevens, Jose Feliciano, Bobbie Gentry and Paul Williams.

Botkin and Barry DeVorzon received an Oscar nomination for co-writing the title song from the 1971 film Bless the Beasts and Children. The Carpenters performed the ballad on the Oscar telecast in April 1972, but it lost to Isaac Hayes' "Theme From Shaft."

His other projects included composing tunes for American Airlines, Baskin Robbins, Chevron and Mattel.

He was born in New York and began his musical career as a trombone player in a high school jazz quartet alongside John Williams, the now-legendary film composer. In 1955, Botkin joined a vocal group called the Cheers, who had a hit with "Black Denim Trousers."

Botkin is survived by his wife Liza, son David, and grandson Daniel Tyler Botkin.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.