Academy Award-nominated songwriter JACK LAWRENCE has died of renal failure and complications from a fall at his home. He was 96.
Lawrence died on 15 March (09) in Danbury, Connecticut, according to his son, Richard Debnam.
At age 20, his first song, Play, Fiddle, Play, became an instant hit, and Lawrence gave up his career in podiatry to pursue music.
Lawrence also wrote for a number of popular American artists during the 1940s, including Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan and Rosemary Clooney.
His interpretation of a popular French song called La Mer became a hit in 1948 as Beyond the Sea.
In 1954, Lawrence was nominated for an Academy Award for Best song, after his record Hold My Hand, written with Richard Myers, became a hit in the U.S.
He also composed and produced several Broadway productions, including 1951 musical Courtin' Time, 1964's I Had a Ball and 1981's Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. In 1970 he was applauded for his accomplishments with an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Debnam is Lawrence's only survivor.