Legendary Composer Marvin Hamlisch Dead At 68

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Aug. 6 2012, Published 2:00 p.m. ET

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By Staff

Legendary film and Broadway composer Marvin Hamlisch has died in Los Angeles at the age of 68, has learned.

Family spokesman Jason Lee said Hamlisch -- a native New Yorker -- died Monday after a brief illness. Lee did not provide further details.

Hamlisch's career was storied  -- he began as a former child piano prodigy whose first job was as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand.  During his celebrated career, he won every major award in his career, including three Academy Awards, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globes. He is one of only 11 people to win an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony.

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"I’m devastated. He was my dear friend. He’s been in my life ever since the first day I met him in 1963 and he played at my wedding in 1998… and recently for me at a benefit for women’s heart disease," Streisand told in an e-mail statement.

"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.”

In all, Hamlisch composed more than 40 film scores, including The Sting, Sophie's Choice, and Ordinary People. On Broadway, Hamlisch received the Pulitzer Prize for A Chorus Line and wrote The Goodbye Girl and Sweet Smell of Success, among many others.

He leaves behind a wife, Terre Blair, a Columbus, Ohio, native and news anchor from the ABC affiliate WTVN - Channel 6; the couple married in May 1989.


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