Composer Marvin Hamlisch dies
Marvin Hamlisch, who composed the scores for dozens of films including "The Sting", has died aged 68.
Hamlisch collapsed and died yesterday in Los Angeles after a brief illness. Other details were not released.
Hamlisch's scores helped define some of Hollywood's most enduring works. The composer won every major award in his career, including three Academy Awards, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globes.
Hamlisch composed more than 40 film scores, including "Sophie's Choice," "Ordinary People" and "Take the Money and Run." He won his third Oscar for his adaptation of Scott Joplin's music for "The Sting."
On Broadway, Hamlisch received both a Tony and the Pulitzer Prize for long-running favourite "The Chorus Line" and wrote "The Goodbye Girl" and "Sweet Smell of Success." His latest work came for Steven Soderbergh's "The Informant!"
Although he was one of the youngest students ever at the Juilliard School of Music, he never studied conducting. "I remember somebody told me, 'Earn while you learn,'" he said in 1996.
He even reached into the pop world, writing the No. 1 R&B hit "Break It to Me Gently" with Carole Bayer Sager for Aretha Franklin. He won the 1974 Grammys for best new artist and song of the year, "The Way We Were," performed by Barbra Streisand.
That ballad exemplified Hamlisch's old-fashioned appeal - big and sentimental, bringing huge success in the rock era. He was extremely versatile, able to write for stage and screen, for soundtracks ranging from Woody Allen comedies to a sombre drama like "Ordinary People."
Hamlisch also had a place in popular culture. Known for his nerdy look, complete with thick eyeglasses.
Hamlisch was principal pops conductor for symphony orchestras in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Dallas, Pasadena, Seattle and San Diego. He was to be announced to the same position with the Philadelphia Orchestra and was due to lead the New York Philharmonic during its upcoming New Year's Eve concert.
He was working on a new musical, "Gotta Dance," at the time of his death and was scheduled to write the score for a new film on Liberace, "Behind the Candelabra."
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Terre.