Jack Sheldon, an acclaimed jazz musician who entertained multiple generations of TV viewers as the puckish sidekick to talk show host Merv Griffin and a memorable voice in the “Schoolhouse Rock!” children’s series, has died. He was 88.
Sheldon, whose trumpet graced the award-winning song “The Shadow of Your Smile,” died Friday of natural causes, his longtime manager and partner, Dianne Jimenez, said in a statement Tuesday. Further details were not provided.
Sheldon, who also had a number of acting roles, was a prominent part of the vibrant West Coast jazz movement in the 1950s alongside fellow artists Art Pepper, Stan Kenton and Shorty Rogers. He also played with jazz and pop greats including Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee, Lena Horne and Frank Sinatra.
Sheldon’s tender horn solo on “The Shadow of Your Smile,” which was introduced in the 1965 film “The Sandpiper,” helped earn it song of the year at the Grammys and best original song at the Oscars.