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John C. Debney (born August 18, 1956) is an Americanmarker film composer. He received an Academy Award nomination for his score for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. He also composed the score for Cutthroat Island, which has been celebrated by music critics as a notable example of swashbuckling film music and overall as one of the best film scores in history.

Life and career

The son of Disney Studios producer Louis Debney (Zorro, The Mickey Mouse Club), John was born and raised in nearby Glendale, Californiamarker, where he began guitar lessons at age six and played in rock bands in college. Debney earned his B.A. degree in Music Composition from the California Institute of Artsmarker in 1979. After college, Debney's professional entry into the business came from television composer Mike Post. Debney furthered his hands-on training by working with Hanna-Barbera composer Hoyt Curtin. After this, Debney went on to score television projects as diverse as Star Trek: The Next Generation, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Dink, the Little Dinosaur, and seaQuest DSV for which he won an Emmy for Best Main Title. In the early 1990s, Debney began to score indie films and Disneyland attractions. In 1991, Debney composed the music for Phantom Manormarker in Disneyland Parismarker. In 1993, he scored his first studio feature, the Disney comedy Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler.

Debney has since gone on to have a career composing scores for many films including: The Passion of the Christ, Bruce Almighty, Elf, Sin City, Chicken Little, Liar Liar, Spy Kids, The Emperor's New Groove, The Scorpion King, and The Princess Diaries.


Year Film Director
2010 Iron Man 2

Valentine's Day

Jon Favreau

Garry Marshall
2009 Old Dogs

The Stoning of Soraya M.

Aliens in the Attic

Hannah Montana: The Movie

A Thousand Words

Hotel For Dogs
Walt Becker

Cyrus Nowrasteh

John Schultz

Peter Chelsom

Brian Robbins

Thor Freudenthal
2008 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Additional Music)

My Best Friend's Girl

Meet Dave

Swing Vote
Rob Cohen

Howard Deutch

Brian Robbins

Joshua Michael Stern
2007 Evan Almighty

Spider-Man 3 (Additional Music)

Georgia Rule

Lair (Video Game)

Tom Shadyac

Sam Raimi

Garry Marshall

2006 Everyone's Hero



The Ant Bully
Colin Brady, Dan St. Pierre, Christopher Reeve

Bryan Barber

Steve Oedekerk

John A. Davis
2005 Sin City (Co-Composer)

Chicken Little


The Pacifier

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (Co-Composer)

Cheaper by the Dozen 2

Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story

Keeping Up with the Steins
Robert Rodriguez

Mark Dindal

Jon Favreau

Adam Shankman

Robert Rodriguez

Adam Shankman

John Gatins

Scott Marshall
2004 The Passion of the Christ *(2005 Academy Award Nomination)

Spider-Man 2 (Additional Music)

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Christmas with the Kranks

Raising Helen

The Whole Ten Yards

Welcome to Mooseport
Mel Gibson

Sam Raimi

Garry Marshall

Joe Roth

Garry Marshall

Howard Deutch

Donald Petrie
2003 Bruce Almighty


The Hot Chick

Tom Shadyac

Jon Favreau

Tom Brady

Bobby Garabedian
2002 The Scorpion King


Snow Dogs

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (Co-Composer)

The Tuxedo
Chuck Russell

Tom Shadyac

Brian Levant

Robert Rodriguez

Kevin Donovan
2001 The Princess Diaries

Spy Kids

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Cats & Dogs


See Spot Run
Garry Marshall

Robert Rodriguez

John A. Davis

Lawrence Guterman

David Mirkin

John Whitesell
2000 The Emperor's New Groove

The Replacements

Michael Jordan to the Max

Mark Dindal

Howard Deutch

James D. Stern, Don Kempf
1999 End of Days

Inspector Gadget

The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland


My Favorite Martian

Lost & Found
Peter Hyams

David Kellogg

Gary Halvorson

Andrew Fleming

Donald Petrie

Jeff Pollack
1998 Paulie

I'll Be Home for Christmas

John Roberts

Arlene Sanford
1997 Liar Liar

I Know What You Did Last Summer

The Relic
Tom Shadyac

Jim Gillespie

Peter Hyams
1996-Past Carpool (1996)

Cutthroat Island (1995)

Sudden Death (1995)

Houseguest (1995)

Little Giants (1994)

White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf (1994)

Hocus Pocus (1993)

The Halloween Tree (1993)

Jetsons: The Movie (1990)
Arthur Hiller

Renny Harlin

Peter Hyams

Randall Miller

Duwayne Dunham

Ken Olin

Kenny Ortega

Mario Piluso

William Hanna, Joseph Barbera


Year Award Result
2005 Academy Award – Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score for The Passion of the Christ (2004) Nomination
1997 Emmy Award – Outstanding Main Title Theme Music for: The Cape (1996) Nomination
1997 Emmy Award – Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) for: The Cape (1996) Win
1994 Emmy Award – Outstanding Individual Achievement in Main Title Theme Music for: SeaQuest DSV (1993) Win
1991 Emmy Award – Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) for: The Young Riders (1989) Win
1990 Emmy Award – Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Theme Music for: The Young Riders (1989) Nomination



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