A Los Angeles native, James Newton Howard (b. 1951) studied music at the University of Southern California. He left school to become a busy session player, which included touring with Elton John and playing keyboards in film scores. His first feature film as a composer was Head Office in 1985, and since then he has composed music for more than 60 features, including Pretty Woman, Grand Canyon, The Fugitive, My Best Friend's Wedding, The Sixth Sense, and Hidalgo, in addition to prominent television work on series such as E.R. He has been nominated for several Academy Awards and Grammys, and he won an Emmy for Gideon's Crossing.