UPDATED: Theatre Community Remembers Tony and Oscar Winner Marvin Hamlisch

By Playbill Staff
07 Aug 2012

Bernadette Peters
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Bernadette Peters, Tony-winning actress and star of The Goodbye Girl
"Marvin Hamlisch was an amazing writer, conductor, raconteur and all in all, a wonderful showman!! Working with him was a dream come true. His talents gave joy to audiences worldwide. What a great loss for all."

Neil Portnow, President and CEO of The Recording Academy, in a statement
"Four-time Grammy winner Marvin Hamlisch was a masterful composer whose work transcended Broadway stages and the silver screen. His compositions for Broadway hits such as A Chorus Line and The Goodbye Girl, and scores for films 'Sophie’s Choice,' 'Ordinary People,' and 'The Way We Were' earned him numerous accolades, including the prestigious honor of having received Academy Awards, Emmys, Golden Globes, Tonys and a Pulitzer Prize — in addition to his Grammy Awards. His work had a significant influence on our culture, and continues to reach across generations. The music industry has lost a truly gifted artist, and our condolences are with his family, friends and all those who were inspired by his singular talent."

Seth Rudetsky, actor, musician, Playbill.com columnist and star of They're Playing Our Song benefit concert
"He was a genius yet a down-to-earth New York Jewish boy. He was so supportive when I asked him if I could play Vernon in They're Playing Our Song (opposite Sutton Foster). As a matter of fact, he approved my first idea of doing it...opposite Gavin Creel! But in the long run, we couldn't convince the other rights holders. And, PS, both times I verbally asked him...he was one of those people who never graduated to email. It was a phone call or fax. And, it was a phone call to his home number. No cell phone."

Stephen Schwartz, award-winning Broadway and film composer and president of Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.
"The Dramatists Guild is saddened by the loss of one of our most admired and valued members. Marvin Hamlisch, among his many extraordinary accomplishments, was a great and influential composer for the theatre, and we will miss both his talent and his friendship."

Barbra Streisand, Oscar-winning actress, on her official website
"I'm devastated. He was my dear friend. He’s been in my life ever since the first day I met him in 1963, when he was my rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl. He played at my wedding in 1998… and recently for me at a benefit for women’s heart disease. The world will remember Marvin for his brilliant musical accomplishments, from A Chorus Line to 'The Way We Were,' and so many others, but when I think of him now, it was his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity, and delicious sense of humor that made him a delight to be around. Just last night, I was trying to reach him, to tell him how much I loved him, and that I wanted to use an old song of his, that I had just heard for the first time. He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being. I will truly miss him."

David Zippel, Tony winner and lyricist for The Goodbye Girl
"The temptation is to use Ed Kleban's wonderful lyric for 'One' to describe Marvin, but I will try to use my own words. Marvin was astonishing! He was as funny as any stand-up comic, lightning fast, extremely emotional, extraordinarliy kind, wildly enthusiastic, massively talented and so much fun. Writing with Marvin was a delight, filled with laughter, an avalanche of melody, and, did I mention, enthusiasm? When Marvin bounced ideas, there was actual bouncing. A little window into Marvin: It was early in our collaboration. We were working at his house in Long Island, and he knew that I had to be back in the city early that evening. Time was getting tight. I ran upstairs to get my bag, and when I came downstairs to say goodbye Marvin was nowhere to be found. Then I heard a horn honk. When I walked out to the driveway, Marvin was getting out of my car, which he had just filled with gas. What a guy! There has never been anyone like him, and there never will be. I will miss him forever."