Famed composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch passed away in Los Angeles on Monday after a brief illness. He was 68 years old.
Hamlisch was born in New York City to a musical family. He was considered a child prodigy from an early age, and after receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Queens College, Hamlisch got into the world of film scoring. He quickly made a mark, earning Oscars for his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s music for The Sting and his original work for The Way We Were. The latter film’s title track became a big hit for Barbara Streisand in 1973.
Over the course of a four-decade career, Hamlisch seemingly won ever award possible: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, and a Pulitzer, becoming one of only two people to win all five of those awards. He also won three Golden Globes and worked in a variety of settings, from Broadway to Hollywood to television. He collaborated with such directors as Woody Allen and Steven Soderbergh, and his music has been featured in everything from Sophie’s Choice to the 1977 James Bond flick The Spy Who Loved Me.
He was also famous for his nerdy look, which Gilda Radner’s Lisa Loopner character on Saturday Night Live would swoon over. At the time of his death, Hamlisch was working on a new musical called Gotta Dance as well as the score to the upcoming Liberace film, Behind The Candelabra.
Hamlisch is survived by his wife of 25 years, Terre.