Prolific composer Marvin Hamlisch dead at the age of 68
Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, who was raised on the Upper West Side, died in Los Angeles Monday at the age of 68.
Hamlisch, a Queens College graduate, died after "a brief illness," according to reports, which did not specify a cause of death.
"Today we lost a world class virtuoso and native New Yorker whose music brought stages and screens to life from Broadway to Hollywood and all points in between," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said of Hamlisch, one of only 11 people to win every major U.S. entertainment award: Emmys, Grammys, Oscars -- and both a Tony and a Pulitzer for his first Broadway show, the 1975 musical, "Chorus Line."
The Broadway League announced that the lights would be dimmed on the Great White Way for a minute at 8 p.m. Wednesday nightto honor the legend, who also composed the Broadway scores for "Smile," "The Goodbye Girl" and "Sweet Smell of Success: The Musical."
"You were an amazing composer and a bundle of light," tweeted actress Audra McDonald.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony-award winning composer and star of "In the Heights," said that Hamlisch was "uncommonly rare, unique, poetic and chic. Goodbye too soon."
One of the first jobs the Upper West Side-raised Hamlisch landed was as a rehearsal pianist for Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl. The singer said yesterday she was "devastated" by the death of her "dear friend," who played at her 1998 wedding. "He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being," Streisand wrote on her website.
Hamlisch was a prolific composer of movie scores and theme songs. Among his most recognizable:
"The Way We Were," 1973
"The Spy Who Loved Me," 1977
"Sophie's Choice," 1982
One of Hamlisch's most enduring contributions to film music came with his comedies. He scored Woody Allen's "Take the Money and Run" and "Bananas," adapted Scott Joplin's piano rags for "The Sting" and scored Neil Simon's dark comedy "The Prisoner of Second Avenue."