Sensationally Decorated Maestro of Film and Stage

New York Times
Marvin Hamlisch | 1944–2012

Sensationally Decorated Maestro of Film and Stage


Published: August 7, 2012

For a few years starting in 1973, Mr. Hamlisch spent practically as much time accepting awards for his compositions as he did writing them. He is one of a handful of artists to win every major creative prize, some of them numerous times, including an Oscar for “The Way We Were” (1973, shared with the lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman), a Grammy as best new artist (1974), and a Tony and a Pulitzer for “A Chorus Line” (1975, shared with the lyricist Edward Kleban, the director Michael Bennett and the book writers James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante).

All told, he won three Oscars, four Emmys and four Grammys. His omnipresence on awards and talk shows made him one of the last in a line of celebrity composers that included Henry Mancini, Burt Bacharach and Stephen Sondheim. Mr. Hamlisch, bespectacled and somewhat gawky, could often appear to be the stereotypical music school nerd — in fact, at 7 he was the youngest student to be accepted to the Juilliard School at the time — but his appearance belied his intelligence and ability to banter easily with the likes of Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin. His melodies were sure-footed and sometimes swashbuckling. “One,” from “A Chorus Line,” with its punchy, brassy lines, distills the essence of the Broadway showstopper.

Multimedia:   Marvin Hamlisch in Song

READ ARTICLE — New York Times