Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Poledouris was a Greek-American. He credited two influences with guiding him towards music: the first was composer Miklós Rózsa; the second his own Greek Orthodox heritage. Poledouris was raised in the Church, and he used to sit in services enthralled with the choir's sound. At the age of seven, Poledouris began piano lessons, and after high school graduation, he enrolled at theUniversity of Southern California to study both filmmaking and music. Several short films to which he contributed are still kept in the university's archives. At USC, Poledouris met movie directors John Milius and Randal Kleiser, with whom he would later collaborate as a music composer. He appeared as a background extra in several episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. In 1985, Poledouris wrote the music for the movie Flesh & Blood of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, establishing another durable collaboration in films.
Poledouris became renowned for his "powerfully epic style" of orchestral composition with additional electric guitar sounds and "intricate thematic designs". He scored the music soundtrack for The Blue Lagoon (1980; dir: Kleiser); Conan the Barbarian (1982; dir: Milius); Conan the Destroyer (1984); Red Dawn (1984; dir: Milius), RoboCop (1987; dir: Verhoeven); The Hunt for Red October(1990); Quigley Down Under (1990 Simon Wincer); Free Willy (1993) and its first sequel Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995);Starship Troopers (1997; dir: Verhoeven); and For Love of the Game (1999).
Poledouris's studio, "Blowtorch Flats", is located in Venice, California, and is a professional mixing facility specializing in film and media production.
Poledouris married his wife Bobbie in 1969; they had two daughters, Zoë and Alexis. His elder daughter, Zoë Poledouris, is an actress and film composer, who occasionally collaborated with her father in composing film soundtracks.
Poledouris's score for Conan the Barbarian is considered by many to be one of the finest examples of motion picture scoring ever written.
In 1996, Poledouris composed the "The Tradition of the Games" for the Atlanta Olympics opening ceremony that accompanied the memorable dance tribute to the athletes and goddesses of victory of the ancient Greek Olympics using silhouette imagery.
Poledouris spent the last four years of his life residing on Vashon Island, in Washington State. He died on November 8, 2006, in Los Angeles, California, aged 61, from cancer. (wiki)