Composer Marvin Hamlisch Dead at 68

Broadway to dim lights for 'Chorus Line' maestro
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2012 11:42 PM CDT
Updated Aug 8, 2012 12:03 AM CDT
Composer Marvin Hamlisch Dead at 68
Marvin Hamlisch enjoys a moment with theatrical producer Joseph Papp at the record-breaking 3,389th performance of the musical "A Chorus Line" in 1983.   (AP Photo, file)

Broadway will dim its lights tonight in memory of composer Marvin Hamlisch, who has died at the age of 68 after a short illness. Hamlisch, whose hits included "A Chorus Line" and "The Way We Were," worked in movies, theater, and TV in his long and prolific career. His work was rewarded with three Oscars, a Tony, four Emmys, and four Grammys. He was one of only two people to receive all those prizes plus a Pulitzer, which he won for "A Chorus Line." His dozens of film scores included music for The Way We Were, The Sting, Sophie's Choice, and, most recently, The Informant in 2009. He kept working until days before his death.

Tributes to Hamlisch have poured in from dozens of stars, including Barbra Streisand, a friend for nearly 50 years, Reuters reports. "It was his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity and delicious sense of humor that made him a delight to be around," she said in a statement. "He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being. I will truly miss him." In his later years, the former child prodigy became an ambassador for music, criticizing cuts to art education. "I don’t think the American government gets it," he told the New York Times. "I don’t think they understand it’s as important as math and science. It rounds you out as a person." (More Marvin Hamlisch dead stories.)

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