Marvin Hamlisch, noted composer for film, television and theater, has died in Los Angeles. Details of his death are not being released at the moment, though the family spokesperson has confirmed that it came after a “brief illness.” He was 68 years old.
Hamlisch was one of the most esteemed American composers of late-20th century. So expansive was his influence over the country’s pop culture that to date he is one of just 11 performers to earn the prestigious EGOT distinction, for winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony—and multiple of each for Hamlisch, except for having just the one Tony.
Though he had some success in the ’60s writing for artists like Lesley Gore, who scored one of her definitive smashes with his “Sunshine, Lollipop and Rainbows,” it was in the ’70s that Marvin Hamlisch had his greatest run of success. He won three Oscars in 1973, just the second person to ever do so in the same ceremonies, for his iconic scoring work in The Sting (including “The Entertainer,” probably being played out there on piano right now by some 11-year-old student just learning the instrument) and The Way We Were (including the titular song, Barbara Streisand’s first chart-topper and one of her signature numbers).
In addition to his work in pop and film, Hamlisch also played a key role in ’70s theater by composing the music for A Chorus Line, one of the most popular musicals of the last half-century, and for a time was the longest-running show in Broadway history. He continued his theatrical composing into the ’80s, though never had another hit on the level of Chorus Line. His film-scoring work remained popular for the remainder of the century, though, and he racked up Oscar nominations for his work on movies like Ice Castles, Sophie’s Choice and The Mirror Has Two Faces.
Hamlisch only did the score for one movie in the 21st century, Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant, which harkened back to his ragtime work on The Sting. He was, however, immortalized for the next generation of film with a tossed-off reference by Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s character in Role Models, complaining about people kept telling him he looked like a young Marvin Hamlisch. (“WHO THE FUCK IS MARVIN HAMLISCH??“)
Take a listen to some of Hamlisch’s best and best-known works, across pretty much every popular artistic medium, with our Spotify playlist below:
The post R.I.P. Marvin Hamlisch, Influential Composer and EGOT Winner, 1944-2012 appeared first on Popdust.