Dead, Marvin Frederick Hamlisch on August 6, 2012, he was an American composer and conductor.
Born in Manhattan on June 2, 1944, 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.
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.
He is one of only two people to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize (Richard Rodgers is the other).
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 #1 on Billboard′s Adult Contemporary chart and #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.
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.
Aside from director-choreographer Michael Bennett, Mr. Hamlisch was by far the most accomplished and famous artist invited to participate in the creation of A Chorus Line.
The unorthodox show—a prime example of what came to be known as the “concept musical”—derived from 30 hours of taped confessions of a group of theatre gypsies and chorines.
From these recordings, Bennett shaped a show about the strivings, hopes, dreams and fears of the unsung and uncelebrated members of the theatre community.
The show was trail-blazing in eschewing a linear plot, dealing with contemporary issues such as homosexuality and abortion in frank terms, and lacking a single headlining star.
Hamlisch was drafted by Bennett and paired with the fussy, eccentric lyricist Ed Kleban, a former executive at Columbia Records with no previous theatre credits.
It was an odd couple pairing if there ever was one, but it produced a timeless result.
The score was episodic, with each song telling the life story of one or more characters. The show included two modern classics: the hopeful “What I Did for Love,” which Kleban and Mr.
Hamlisch reportedly wrote under protest, as they considered it a commercial “sell-out” number; and “One,” the show’s finale.