Buddy Bregman, an arranger and composer who scored and/or orchestrated such films as The Pajama Game, The Wild Party and Born Reckless, died Sunday evening in Los Angeles after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 86.
Bregman’s death was confirmed by his daughter, The Young and the Restless actress Tracey Bregman.
Before his film work, Bregman got his start, at age 25, as the head of A&R at Norman Granz’s Verve Records. While there, he worked as an arranger with such artists as Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. He arranged two of the now-classic albums in Ella Fitzgerald’s song book project as well as several of her early Verve Records singles. Bregman later became Ethel Merman’s personal arranger.
Following his tenure at Verve, Bregman became the musical director of NBC’s The Eddie Fisher Show, and was the first American director hired for the BBC. In 1966, he was appointed head of light entertainment for the weekday ITV company Redifussion London, and later worked as a television producer and director in the United States and Europe.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by son Barry Bregman, former wife Suzanne Lloyd, four grandsons, a great grandson and a brother and sister-in-law.