Stephen Sondheim, one of the most important composers in the history of musicals, who is responsible for many Broadway hit songs like “The Story of the Suburbs” and “Sweeney Todd,” passed away last night (Saturday) at the age of 91.
His lawyer and associate, P. Richard Papas confirmed to the New York Times that the esteemed Jewish composer had died suddenly at his home in the Connecticut, after having only been hosted by friends for Thanksgiving dinner the day before. No further details were released.
Sondheim was born in New York in March 1930 to a Jewish-American family. Ras, who even served as a professional mentor for him.
After learning writing and composing, Sondheim decided to try his luck and at the age of 25 won his big break, when he wrote the songs for “The Story of the Suburbs” which aired on Broadway in 1957, and was a great success, which later, in 1961, won a film adaptation -10 Oscars, including for Best Picture.
Later in his career, Sondheim had many other successes, including “Gypsy,” “Something Funny Happened to Me on the Way to the Forum,” and “Company,” for which he won two Tony Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack. He won five more Tony Awards for the music he composed for musicals such as “Sweeney Todd” and “Into the Woods,” and in 2008 he was awarded a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement.
At the same time, he also wrote original songs for movies, including “Red,” “The Birdcage” and “Dick Tracy,” which featured the song “Sooner or Later” performed by Madonna and which won the 1991 Sondheim Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Sondheim came out of the closet at age 40, and married just about four years ago, to Jeffrey Scott Romley. He never brought children. His most recent television appearance was on Stephen Colbert’s Light Night show in September. Last week, the musical “Tick, Tick … Boom!” Premiered on Netflix, directing the director and theater star who also successfully moved to Hollywood Lynn-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”) and starring Andrew Garfield as playwright Jonathan Larsen, the creator of the legendary musical ” Rent “, for which Sondheim served as a role model and later a mentor, and in the film he is played by actor Bradley Whitford.
“Thank God Sondheim lived to be 91 and had the time to write such great music and wonderful lyrics, who will give and rest on his laurels in peace,” American cultural legend Barbara Streisand, who has collaborated with him on several occasions, praised him on Twitter.
Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics! May he Rest In Peace🥲🎵 🎶🎵 pic.twitter.com/vshNSdkvpQ
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) November 26, 2021
Actor Hugh Jackman tweeted: “Once in a while comes a man who changes an entire art form from the ground up. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. While millions mourn his passing, I too want to express my gratitude for all he has given me and many others.”
Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest. pic.twitter.com/4KlnJJJipq
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) November 26, 2021
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