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HOLLYWOOD / BOLLYWOOD NEWS
August 08, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Marvin Hamlisch, the composer behind a string of Broadway and Hollywood hits including "A Chorus Line," "The Way We Were" and "The Sting," has died, his publicist said Tuesday. He was 68.

"He died last night in Los Angeles," Ray Costa told AFP, adding that Hamlisch had been admitted to hospital in suburban Burbank last week. He did not disclose the cause of death.

"I'm devastated," wrote his longtime friend and collaborator, singer Barbra Streisand, on her website. "He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being. I will truly miss him."

"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," added New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement.

"As a child of immigrants, Marvin's life was a great New York success story," he said.

Broadway theaters said they would dim their marquees on Wednesday night for one minute in Hamlisch's memory.

Born in New York in 1944, Hamlisch studied music at the city's prestigious Juilliard School as its youngest-ever student, then played piano on Broadway before embarking on a successful career writing music for stage and screen.

He was one of only a handful of entertainment artists to collect all the most coveted prizes in American popular culture, including three Oscars, two Golden Globes, four Grammys, four Emmys and a Tony.

In 1974 he picked up three Academy Awards on a single night -- for best original dramatic score and best original song for Sydney Pollack's "The Way We Were" and best musical adaptation for George Roy Hill's "The Sting."

He also won a Tony and a Pulitzer for "A Chorus Line" in 1975 -- just one of many Broadway productions he composed, others including "They're Playing Our Song" in 1978, "The Goodbye Girl" in 1993 and "Sweet Smell of Success" in 2002.

In Hollywood, Hamlisch scored more than 40 films, including "The Spy Who Loved Me" in 1977, "Sophie's Choice" in 1982, "Three Men and a Baby" in 1987 and "Frankie and Johnny" in 1991.

Most recently, he teamed up with Steven Soderbergh in 2009 for the soundtrack of "The Informant!"

Hamlisch was close to Streisand, who starred alongside Robert Redford in "The Way We Were." He was musical director of her US and British tour in 1994 and took part in the Emmy-winning show "Barbra Streisand: The Concert".

As a conductor, he oversaw the pop program of several American orchestras, notably those in Pittsburgh, Dallas, San Diego and Seattle.

Before his death, he was at work on a new musical, "Gotta Dance," and on a made-for-television film by Soderbergh, "Liberace," now in production, starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas.

AFP

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