Jerry Goldsmith's melodies were heard in more than 170 movies and have been on permanent playback in the minds of millions thrilled by films as diverse as ''Star Trek,'' ''Hoosiers,'' ''Alien,'' ''Planet of the Apes,'' and ''L.A. Confidential.'' ''His chameleon adaptability,'' says longtime friend, composer John Williams, ''was a prerequisite to longevity and success in Hollywood.'' Goldsmith, 75, who died of cancer July 21 in Beverly Hills, originally wrote music at CBS, where he started, inauspiciously, as a typist in 1950. Beholden to no distinct sound or style, he switched seamlessly among genres, garnering 18 Oscar nods and one win, for his spooky scoring of 1976's ''The Omen.'' ''We used to call him Gorgeous,'' says Williams, who lists Goldsmith among his all-time favorite film composers. ''He was the golden boy, a beautiful presence. His music had a freshness, and he had a freshness.''