Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) was an American composer and conductor. Hamlisch was one of only fifteen people to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. This collection of all four is referred to as an "EGOT". He is one of only two people (along with composer Richard Rodgers) to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize ("PEGOT").
Hamlisch in early 1970s
|Birth name||Marvin Frederick Hamlisch|
|Born||June 2, 1944|
New York, New York, U.S.
|Died||August 6, 2012 (aged 68)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Genres||Musical theatre · Film music · Pops|
|Occupation(s)||Composer · Conductor|
Hamlisch was born in Manhattan, to Viennese-born Jewish parents Lilly (née Schachter) and Max Hamlisch. His father was an accordionist and bandleader. Hamlisch was a child prodigy and, by age five, he began mimicking the piano music he heard on the radio. A few months before he turned seven, in 1951, he was accepted into what is now the Juilliard School Pre-College Division.
Hamlisch's first job was as a rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand. Shortly afterward, he was hired by producer Sam Spiegel to play piano at Spiegel's parties. This connection led to his first film score, The Swimmer. His favorite musicals growing up were My Fair Lady, Gypsy, West Side Story, and Bye Bye Birdie. Hamlisch attended Queens College, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967.
Although Liza Minnelli's debut album included "The Travelin' Life", a song he wrote in his teens (originally titled "Travelin' Man"), his first hit did not come until he was 21 years old. This song, "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows", co-written with Howard Liebling, was recorded by Lesley Gore and reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1965. His first film score was for The Swimmer, after the film's producer Sam Spiegel hired Hamlisch based on a piano performance Hamlisch did at a party. Later he wrote music for several early Woody Allen films such as Take the Money and Run and Bananas. In addition, Hamlisch co-wrote the song "California Nights" (also with Liebling), which was recorded by Lesley Gore for her 1967 hit album of the same name. The Bob Crewe-produced single peaked at No. 16 on the Hot 100 in March 1967, two months after Gore had performed the song on the Batman television series, in which she guest-starred as an accomplice to Julie Newmar's Catwoman.
Among his better-known works during the 1970s were adaptations of Scott Joplin's ragtime music for the motion picture The Sting, including its theme song, "The Entertainer". It hit No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart and No. 3 on the Hot 100, selling nearly 2 million copies in the U.S. alone. He had great success in 1973, winning two Academy Awards for the title song and the score for the motion picture The Way We Were and an Academy Award for the adaptation score for The Sting. He won four Grammy Awards in 1974, two for "The Way We Were". In 1975, he wrote what, for its first 12 years, would be the original theme music for Good Morning America—it was built around four notes. He co-wrote "Nobody Does It Better" for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) with his then-girlfriend Carole Bayer Sager, which would be nominated for an Oscar. In the 1980s, he had success with the scores for Ordinary People (1980) and Sophie's Choice (1982). He also received an Academy-Award nomination in 1986 for the film version of A Chorus Line. His last projects included The Informant! (2009), starring Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh. Prior to his death, he completed his first children's book Marvin Makes Music, which included the original music "The Music in My Mind" with words by Rupert Holmes, and the score for the HBO film Behind the Candelabra (2013), also directed by Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas as Liberace.
Hamlisch's first major stage work was in 1972 playing piano for Groucho Marx at Carnegie Hall for An Evening with Groucho. Hamlisch acted as both straight man and accompanist while Marx, at age 81, reminisced about his career in show business. The performances were released as a two-record set, and remained very popular.
He then composed the scores for the 1975 Broadway musical A Chorus Line, for which he won both a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize; and for the 1978 musical They're Playing Our Song, loosely based on his relationship with Carole Bayer Sager.
At the beginning of the 1980s, his romantic relationship with Bayer Sager ended, but their songwriting relationship continued. The 1983 musical Jean Seberg, based on the life of the real-life actress, failed in its London production at the UK's National Theatre and never played in the U.S. In 1986, Smile was a mixed success and had a short run on Broadway. The musical version of Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl (1993) closed after only 188 performances, although he received a Drama Desk nomination, for Outstanding Music.
Shortly before his death, Hamlisch finished scoring a musical theatre version of The Nutty Professor, based on the 1963 film. The show played in July and August 2012, at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) in Nashville, aiming for a Broadway run. The book is by Rupert Holmes, and the production was directed by Jerry Lewis.
Hamlisch was musical director and arranger of Barbra Streisand's 1994 concert tour of the U.S. and England as well as of the television special, Barbra Streisand: The Concert, for which he received two of his Emmys. He also conducted several tours of Linda Ronstadt during this period, most notably on her successful 1996 Dedicated to the One I Love tour of arenas and stadiums.
Hamlisch held the position of Principal Pops Conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra Pops, The Pasadena Symphony and Pops, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
At the time of his death, he was preparing to assume responsibilities as Principal Pops Conductor for the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Hamlisch is one of only 15 people to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. This collection of all four is referred to as an "EGOT". He is one of only two people to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize (Richard Rodgers is the other). He is one of ten people to win three or more Oscars in one night and the only one other than a director or screenwriter to do so.
Hamlisch also won two Golden Globes. He earned ten Golden Globe Award nominations, winning twice for Best Original Song, with "Life Is What You Make It" in 1972 and "The Way We Were" in 1974. He also received six Emmy Award nominations, winning four times, twice for music direction of Barbra Streisand specials, in 1995 and 2001. He shared the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1976 with Michael Bennett, James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante, and Edward Kleban for his musical contribution to the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line.
Hamlisch received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 at the World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent, Belgium. He was also inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2008, he appeared as a judge in the Canadian reality series Triple Sensation which aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The show was aimed to provide a training bursary to a talented young man or woman with the potential to be a leader in song, dance, and acting. In 2008, Hamlisch was also inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
In May 1989, Hamlisch married Terre Blair, a native of Columbus, Ohio, who was the weather and news anchor for that city's ABC affiliate, WSYX-Channel 6. The marriage lasted until his death. Hamlisch's prior relationship with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager inspired the musical They're Playing Our Song.
After a brief illness, on August 6, 2012, Hamlisch collapsed and died in Los Angeles, California.
The Associated Press described him as having written "some of the best-loved and most enduring songs and scores in movie history". Barbra Streisand released a statement praising Hamlisch, stating it was "his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity and delicious sense of humor that made him a delight to be around." Aretha Franklin called him "classic and one of a kind", and one of the "all-time great" arrangers and producers. The head of the Pasadena Symphony and Pops commented that Hamlisch had "left a very specific ... original mark on American music and added to the great American songbook with works he himself composed."
At 8:00 p.m. EDT on August 8, the marquee lights of the 40 Broadway theaters were dimmed for one minute in tribute to Hamlisch, an honor traditionally accorded posthumously to those considered to have made significant contributions to the theater arts.
Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, and Liza Minnelli took turns singing songs by Hamlisch during a memorial service for the composer on September 18, 2012. At the 2013 Academy Awards, Streisand sang "The Way We Were" in Hamlisch's memory.
Hamlisch was the primary conductor for the Pittsburgh Pops from 1995 until his death.
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra performed a rare Hamlisch classical symphonic suite titled Anatomy of Peace (Symphonic Suite in one Movement For Full Orchestra/Chorus/Child Vocal Soloist) on November 19, 1991. It was also performed at Carnegie Hall in 1993, and in Paris in 1994 to commemorate D-Day. The work was recorded by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 1992. The Anatomy of Peace was a book by Emery Reves which expressed the world-federalist sentiments shared by Albert Einstein and many others in the late 1940s, in the period immediately following World War II.
A Chorus Line is a 1985 American musical drama film directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Michael Douglas. The screenplay by Arnold Schulman is based on the book of the 1975 stage production of the same name by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante. The songs were composed by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban.
The film was released theatrically on December 13, 1985 by Columbia Pictures. It received mixed to negative reviews from critics and was a box office bomb, grossing only $14 million from a $25 million budget.A Streetcar Named Desire (1984 film)
A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1984 American made-for-television drama film directed by John Erman and based on the 1947 play of the same name by Tennessee Williams. The film stars Ann-Margret and Treat Williams and premiered on ABC on March 4, 1984.Break It to Me Gently (Aretha Franklin song)
"Break It to Me Gently" is a song written by Carole Bayer Sager and Marvin Hamlisch which was an R&B hit for Aretha Franklin in 1977. Released from the Sweet Passion album, it reached Number 1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart in June 1977. The song's success was only faintly reflected on the Billboard Hot 100 with a Number 85 peak, before dropping out of the Hot 100 after two weeks. "Break It to Me Gently" would be Franklin's final Atlantic single to appear on the Hot 100 - from which she would be absent until 1980.Flap (film)
Flap (distributed in Britain as The Last Warrior) is a 1970 American comedy-drama western film directed by Carol Reed and starring Anthony Quinn, Claude Akins and Shelley Winters. Set in a modern Native American reservation, it is based on the novel Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian by Clair Huffaker.Jean Seberg (musical)
Jean Seberg is a musical biography with a book by Julian Barry, lyrics by Christopher Adler, and music by Marvin Hamlisch. It is based on the life of the late American actress and premiered at the National Theatre in London on 1 December 1983.Kotch
Kotch is a 1971 American comedy-drama film directed by Jack Lemmon and starring Walter Matthau, Deborah Winters, Felicia Farr, Charles Aidman, and Ellen Geer.
Adapted by John Paxton from the 1965 novel of the same name by Katharine Topkins, the film tells the story of an elderly man who leaves his family rather than go into a nursing home, and strikes up a friendship with a pregnant teenage girl. It was Lemmon's only film behind the camera and partnered him with friend and frequent co-star Matthau.
Portions of the film were shot and set in Palm Springs, California.Nobody Does It Better
"Nobody Does It Better" is a song composed by Marvin Hamlisch with lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager. It was recorded by Carly Simon as the theme song for the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. It was the first Bond theme song to be titled differently from the name of the film since Dr. No, although the phrase "the spy who loved me" is included in the lyrics. The song was released as a single from the film's soundtrack album.
"Nobody Does It Better" became a major worldwide hit, spending three weeks at #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 but was kept out of the top spot by Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" and #1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart. It also reached #7 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was certified Gold by the RIAA, signifying sales of one million copies in the US.The song is Simon's longest-charting hit, as well the most successful hit of hers that she did not write herself. Her earlier hit "You're So Vain" spent three weeks at #1; however, its chart run was two months shorter than that of "Nobody Does It Better." The title of the theme was later used for Simon's 1999 greatest hits compilation, The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better.
Among the most successful Bond theme songs, "Nobody Does It Better" received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song where it lost to "You Light Up My Life", as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination. At the 20th Annual Grammy Awards held in 1978, "Nobody Does It Better" received a nomination for Song of the Year and Simon was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. In 2004, the song was also honored by the American Film Institute as the 67th greatest song as part of their 100 Years Series.Save the Tiger
Save the Tiger is a 1973 drama film about moral conflict in contemporary America directed by John G. Avildsen, and starring Jack Lemmon, Jack Gilford, Laurie Heineman, Thayer David, Lara Parker, and Liv Lindeland. The screenplay was adapted by Steve Shagan from his novel of the same title.
Lemmon won the 1973 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Harry Stoner (making him the first of six actors to win Oscars for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor), an executive in the garment industry who struggles with the complexity of modern life versus the simplicity of his youth.Sophie's Choice (film)
Sophie's Choice is a 1982 American drama film directed by Alan J. Pakula, who adapted William Styron's novel of the same name. Meryl Streep stars as Sophie, a Polish immigrant who shares a boarding house in Brooklyn with her tempestuous lover, Nathan (Kevin Kline in his feature film debut), and a young writer, Stingo (Peter MacNicol).
Streep's performance was acclaimed, and she received the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film was nominated for Best Cinematography (Néstor Almendros), Best Costume Design (Albert Wolsky), Best Music (Marvin Hamlisch), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Alan J. Pakula).
British company ITC Entertainment produced the film, and Universal Pictures distributed and released it.Starting Over (1979 film)
Starting Over is a 1979 American comedy film based on Dan Wakefield's novel, produced by James L. Brooks, and directed by Alan J. Pakula. Starring Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh, and Candice Bergen, it follows a recently divorced man who is torn between his new girlfriend and his ex-wife.
It was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Clayburgh) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Bergen). Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager wrote three original songs for the film: "Easy For You," "Better Than Ever", and "Starting Over", which is sung by Bergen.Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows
"Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" is a popular song sung by Lesley Gore. It was originally released on Gore's 1963 album Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts. The song, composed by Marvin Hamlisch, was released as a single in conjunction with Gore's rendition in the 1965 film Ski Party. It was arranged by Claus Ogerman and produced by Quincy Jones. The tune peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.The Goodbye Girl (musical)
The Goodbye Girl is a musical with a book by Neil Simon, lyrics by David Zippel, and music by Marvin Hamlisch, based on Simon's original screenplay for the 1977 film of the same name.The Mirror Has Two Faces
The Mirror Has Two Faces is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama film produced and directed by Barbra Streisand, who also stars. The screenplay by Richard LaGravenese is loosely based on the 1958 French film Le Miroir a deux faces written by André Cayatte and Gérard Oury, which focused on a homely woman who becomes a beauty, which creates problems in her marriage.
The film also stars Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, George Segal, Mimi Rogers, Brenda Vaccaro, and Lauren Bacall.
Streisand, Marvin Hamlisch, Robert John "Mutt" Lange, and Bryan Adams composed the film's theme song, "I Finally Found Someone". Streisand sang it on the soundtrack with Adams.The Sting
The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by two professional grifters (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) to con a mob boss (Robert Shaw). The film was directed by George Roy Hill, who had directed Newman and Redford in the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Created by screenwriter David S. Ward, the story was inspired by real-life cons perpetrated by brothers Fred and Charley Gondorff and documented by David Maurer in his book The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man.
The title phrase refers to the moment when a con artist finishes the "play" and takes the mark's money. If a con is successful, the mark does not realize he has been cheated until the con men are long gone. The film is played out in distinct sections with old-fashioned title cards, the lettering and illustrations rendered in a style reminiscent of the Saturday Evening Post. The film is noted for its anachronistic use of ragtime, particularly the melody "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin, which was adapted (along with others by Joplin) for the movie by Marvin Hamlisch (and a top-ten chart single for Hamlisch when released as a single from the film's soundtrack). The film's success created a resurgence of interest in Joplin's work.The Sting was hugely successful at the 46th Academy Awards, being nominated for ten Oscars and winning seven, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. In 2005, The Sting was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."The Two Mrs. Grenvilles
The Two Mrs. Grenvilles is a 1987 television miniseries based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Dominick Dunne and dramatizing the sensational Woodward murder case of 1955. Directed by John Erman, the miniseries stars Ann-Margret, Elizabeth Ashley, Claudette Colbert, and Stephen Collins. It was Colbert's last screen performance; she spent the remainder of her career on stage.The Way We Were
The Way We Were is a 1973 American romantic drama film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. Arthur Laurents wrote both the novel and screenplay based on his college days at Cornell University and his experiences with the House Un-American Activities Committee.A box office success, the film was nominated for several awards and won the Oscar for Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Original Song for the theme song, "The Way We Were. It ranked at number 6 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions survey of the top 100 greatest love stories in American cinema. The Way We Were is considered one of the greatest romantic films ever. The soundtrack album became a gold record and hit the Top 20 on the Billboard 200 while the title song became a million-selling gold single, topping the Billboard Hot 100 respectively, selling more than two million copies. Billboard named "The Way We Were" as the number 1 pop hit of 1974. In 1998, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and finished at number 8 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Songs list of top tunes in American cinema in 2004. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.The Way We Were (song)
"The Way We Were" is a song recorded by American vocalist Barbra Streisand for her fifteenth studio album, The Way We Were (1974). It was physically released as the record's lead single on September 27, 1973 through Columbia Records. The 7" single was distributed in two different formats, with the standard edition featuring B-side track "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" and the Mexico release including an instrumental B-side instead. The recording was written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman and Marvin Hamlisch, while production was solely handled by Marty Paich. "The Way We Were" was specifically produced for the record, in addition to three other tracks, including her then-upcoming single "All in Love Is Fair" (1974).
Its lyrics detail the melancholic relationship between the two main characters in the 1973 film of the same name. Its appeal was noted by several music critics, who felt its impact helped revive Streisand's career. It also won two Academy Awards, which were credited to the songwriters of the track. The single was also a commercial success, topping the charts in both Canada and the United States, while peaking in the top 40 in Australia and the United Kingdom. Additionally, "The Way We Were" was 1974's most successful recording in the United States, where it was placed at number one on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles list. It has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales of over one million units. Streisand has also included "The Way We Were" on various compilation albums, with it most recently appearing on 2010's Barbra: The Ultimate Collection.
Several renditions and versions of the single exist, including one by American singer Andy Williams, who sang it for his thirty-second studio album of the same name in 1974. American band Gladys Knight & the Pips also recorded a cover for I Feel a Song (1974). It was commercially successful, reaching number four in the United Kingdom and number 11 in the United States. Their version was blended with the song "Try to Remember" and features the B-side track "The Need to Be".They're Playing Our Song
They're Playing Our Song is a musical with a book by Neil Simon, lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, and music by Marvin Hamlisch.
In a story based on the real-life relationship of Hamlisch and Sager, a wisecracking composer finds a new, offbeat lyricist, but initially the match is not one made in heaven. The two undergo a series of trials and overcome a number of hurdles before finding true love by the final curtain.
They're Playing Our Song is essentially a two-character show. Vernon and Sonia are the sole characters on stage; each character has a three-person Greek chorus acting as their inner voices, and there are no big production numbers.What I Did for Love (A Chorus Line)
"What I Did for Love" is a song from the musical A Chorus Line (music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban). It was quickly recognized for its show-business potential outside Broadway and was picked up by popular singers to include in their performances in their club and television appearances. Both female and male singers have made it an inclusion in their recorded albums to great effect. The Daily Telegraph described it as a "big anthem".
Awards for Marvin Hamlisch
listed by duration and year of completion