Frank Edwin Churchill was an American composer of popular music for films. He wrote most of the music for Disney's 1937 movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, including "Whistle While You Work" and "Someday My Prince Will Come". The latter (without the Larry Morey lyrics) became a jazz standard covered by various jazz greats including Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, and Dave Brubeck.
Churchill began his career playing piano in cinemas at the age of 15. After dropping out of medical studies at the University of Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in music, he became accompanist at the Los Angeles radio station KNX (AM) in 1924.
In 1937, he was chosen to score Disney's first full-length animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. His catchy, artfully written songs played a large part in the film's initial success and continuing popularity.
In 1942, Churchill and fellow composer Oliver Wallace won an Oscar in the category "Scoring of a Musical Picture" for co-writing the score for Dumbo. He also shared an Oscar nomination with Ned Washington for the song "Baby Mine" from Dumbo for Best Song. A year later, Churchill received two posthumous Oscar nominations; the first for co-writing the score to Bambi with Edward Plumb, and the second for co-writing the song "Love is a Song" from Bambi with lyricist Larry Morey.
Frank Churchill committed suicide on May 14, 1942, at his ranch north of Los Angeles in Castaic, California. He is purported to have died "at the piano" of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Although there is some speculation that his suicide was a result of negative discourse with Walt Disney regarding his latest scores for Bambi, it was more likely due to his deep depression and bought with heavy drinking after the deaths of two of his closest friends and fellow Disney orchestra members who had passed away earlier that year within a month of each other.