Frank Wildhorn and Linda Eder, Couple Who Made Music on Stage and in Studio, Split Up

By Kenneth Jones
28 Jul 2004

Linda Eder and Frank Wildhorn
Linda Eder and Frank Wildhorn
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Composer Frank Wildhorn and singer-actress Linda Eder, whose romance and careers were intimately intertwined before and after their 1998 marriage, have legally separated after six years, Playbill On-Line has learned.

In response to an inquiry, a spokesperson for Eder and Wildhorn confirmed that the couple has been separated since fall 2003. "The composer and actress-singer continue to be the best of friends and to work together closely," the spokesperson said. They are "legally separated."

Eder and Wildhorn continue to raise their five-year-old son, Jake, in upstate New York. "This is obviously a very personal matter which the family has dealt with quietly," said their spokesperson. "Out of respect for their son, neither are available for comment."

Although each has a separate identity — he the Tony Award-nominated Broadway and pop composer, she the concert singer and stage actress — fans knew them as a public couple that also cherished their privacy. They often partnered on projects including albums, concerts and musicals. When appearing separately, they would often publicly thank or reference each other. Wildhorn often called Eder as his "muse"

As recently as summer 2003, Eder starred in the developmental run of Wildhorn's new musical, Camille Claudel, at Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre. She'll again play French sculptress Camille in a New York City presentation of the show as part of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's 2004 Festival of New Musicals in October.



Eder, the lush-voiced concert performer known for belting pop songs, show tunes and holiday favorites in concerts and on disc, continues to tour and is planning her next record.

Wildhorn, who composed the music for Broadway's Jekyll & Hyde (which starred Eder on Broadway), The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Civil War, wrote music for Broadway's Dracula, The Musical, currently at the Belasco Theatre. Opening is set for Aug. 19.

In 2003, Angel Records released "Storybook," a compilation of classic Linda Eder material: six never before-released tracks and seven remixed/re-orchestrated arrangements. The 15-track disc includes 10 Wildhorn songs.

"Broadway My Way" (featuring two Wildhorn tunes) is Eder's latest disc on the Atlantic Records label.

*

Eder's first national exposure was via TV's "Star Search" talent program, where she had an unprecedented 13 weeks of success. It was through "Star Search" that she first met Wildhorn, who was then casting for the new musical, Jekyll & Hyde.

The show went on a 35-city tour before opening on Broadway in 1997, with Eder as Lucy. The actress' voice has often been compared with the power and clarity of Barbra Streisand's work.

For her performance as Lucy, Eder earned a Theatre World Award for Best Broadway Debut as well as the Drama Desk and Outer Critics' Circle Award nominations for Best Actress in a Musical.

In 1999, Wildhorn became the first American composer in 22 years to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway — Jekyll & Hyde at the Plymouth Theatre, The Scarlet Pimpernel at the Minskoff, and The Civil War at the St. James Theatre.

The Civil War received two 1999 Tony nominations: Best Musical and Best Score. A national tour of a revised version of the show criss-crossed the country.

According to www.frankwildhorn.com, Jekyll & Hyde holds the distinction of being the first new American musical to have two internationally released concept recordings of the score: "Highlights from Jekyll & Hyde" on RCA, and "Jekyll & Hyde — The Complete Work" on Atlantic Records.

Songs from Jekyll & Hyde such as "Someone Like You," "A New Life," and "This Is The Moment" have been performed worldwide.

The Jekyll & Hyde Broadway cast recording was released in July 1997.

Wildhorn is the creative director of Atlantic Theatre, a division of Atlantic Records. As such, he develops new American musical works and their potential stars, as well as strengthens the relationship between commercial theatre and the music industry.

Wildhorn was born in New York and raised in Florida. He has a teen-age son, Justin, from a previous marriage.

Visit www.lindaeder.com or www.frankwildhorn.com.