Back to The Men Behind the Muppets
Even without the Muppets, Williams is one of the most prolific songwriters in pop music history, penning 'An Old Fashioned Love Song,' 'We've Only Just Begun' and 'Rainy Days and Mondays.' He teamed up with legendary composer John Williams on the film 'Cinderella Liberty,' (earning his first Oscar nomination for songwriting). He starred as the villain and wrote the songbook for Brian DePalma's shock-rock musical 'The Phantom of the Paradise,' which got him his second Oscar nomination. He finally won an Oscar for Best Song, for the film 'A Star Is Born' in 1977 (a year in which the competition was himself, for the film 'Bugsy Malone'). After a hosting gig on the first season of 'The Muppet Show,' Williams began a long creative collaboration with Jim Henson. He composed the music for 'The Muppet Movie,' and with songwriting partner Kenneth Asher penned the beloved 'Rainbow Connection,' which got him yet another Oscar nomination. (He also cameos in the film as the piano player at the nightclub where Fozzie meets Kermit).
He continued working with Henson and the Muppets on various projects, all while appearing in a wide range of TV shows and movies. In 2009, he was named President of the American Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors; most recently, a documentary on his career aired at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. On his 2-disc performance DVD special 'I'm Going Back There Someday,' he performs 'Rainbow Connection' with Willie Nelson, and duets on the title song (written for 'The Muppet Movie') with that resident weirdo Gonzo. He has also performed 'Rainbow Connection' on the Nickelodeon kids show 'Yo Gabba Gabba!' He had the distinction of being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame by Kermit the Frog, and is one of the few 'Muppet Show' hosts to have his own Muppet.
'The Muppet Show': Host (Season One, Episode Eight)
'Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas': Songs and Score
'The Muppet Movie': Songs and Score
'John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together': Songs
'The Muppet Christmas Carol': Songs
'A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa': Teleplay and Songs