Rod McKuen, prolific songwriter and poet, dies at 81

Rod McKuen, songwriter associated with Jacques Brel and Frank Sinatra, dies at 81

Rod McKuen, a prolific songwriter and poet whose compositions include the Academy Award-nominated song “Jean” for the 1969 film “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” has died. He was 81.

McKuen had recently been hospitalized and died Thursday at a Beverly Hills rehabilitation center of respiratory arrest after suffering from pneumonia, according to his friend and producer Jim Pierson.

Among McKuen’s commercial successes in the 1960s and '70s were his reworking of Jacques Brel’s song "Le Moribond" for the English-language version of “Seasons in the Sun,” later covered by the Kingston Trio and Terry Jacks. Frank Sinatra recorded an album of McKuen songs in 1969 called “A Man Alone,” which included “Love’s Been Good to Me.”

Besides his score for “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” McKuen’s music for the animated feature “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” was also nominated for an Oscar.

McKuen was born in Oakland in 1933 and wrote later of an unhappy childhood and the abuse he endured at the hands of his stepfather. In the '60s, McKuen moved to Paris and began writing poetry. In all, he published more than three dozen collections of poems and essays.

A complete obituary will appear at latimes.com/obits.

news.obits@latimes.com

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
51°