French film score composer Michel Colombier died Nov. 14 at his home in Santa Monica, Calif., following a six-month battle with cancer. He was 65.

French film score composer Michel Colombier died Nov. 14 at his home in Santa Monica, Calif., following a six-month battle with cancer. He was 65.

Colombier was a classically trained musician who had a fondness for jazz. His career in the music industry began 43 years ago in France as A&R manager for then-independent label Barclay. His first assignment was to arrange in English the first album from Charles Aznavour, which was produced by Quincy Jones.

Colombier's reputation grew as an arranger, early on with French acts such as Serge Gainsbourg. He relocated to the United States in 1975, where he worked with artists such as Madonna ("American Life"), Prince ("Purple Rain"), the Beach Boys, Paul Anka and Barbra Streisand. He won a Grammy Award and an Academy Award for his work on "Purple Rain."

With composer Pierre Henry, Colombier ventured into avant-garde and wrote music for "Messe pour Le Temps Present" in 1967.

In the late '60s he signed with A&M and, in 1970, released what remains one of his best known works, "Wings," which earned him three Grammy nominations.

Once established in California, he became a prolific film score composer, penning the soundtracks to more than 100 films, including "Ruthless People," "New Jack City," "White Nights" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back."

More recently, he worked with French electronica band Air on its 2004 album "Talkie Walkie."