By Jeremy Kinser
Originally published on Advocate.com August 07 2012 10:08 AM ET
Prolific composer Marvin Hamlisch, whose acclaimed music won him Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and a Tony Award, has died at 68, reports USA Today.
His spokesman Jason Lee says Hamlisch died Monday in Los Angeles following a short illness. Other details haven't yet been released.
Barbra Streisand, a longtime friend of Hamlisch whose stirring rendition of his song "The Way We Were" remains one of her biggest-selling singles, released the following statement: "Thank you for the music, Marvin Hamlisch! You will be very missed and our hearts go out to your family and friends in this difficult time."
A child prodigy, Hamlisch was accepted into what is now the Julliard Pre-College Division before he turned 7. His first job was as pianist for Streisand during rehearsals for Funny Girl. Among his best-known works include the musical scores for Ice Castles, Ordinary People, Sophie's Choice, and two early Woody Allen films, Take the Money and Run and Bananas. Hamlisch would win three Academy Awards for his work in the 1973 films The Way We Were (for best original song and best original dramatic score) and The Sting (for best original score or adaptation).
Hamlisch is one of only 11 people to have won all four major entertainment awards, often referred to as the EGOT. Besides his three Oscars, the composer won four Emmy Awards, including three for his work in specials with his longtime friend Streisand, four Grammy Awards for his work on The Sting and The Way We Were, and a Tony Award for A Chorus Line. Hamlisch would also share a Pulitzer Prize for his contribution to the landmark musical.
Hamlisch's relationship with composer Carol Bayer Sager served as inspiration for another popular musical, They're Playing Our Song. Hamlisch was also a principal pops conductor for symphony orchestras in Dallas, Milwaukee, Pasadena, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and San Diego. His most recent theatrical composition was for the upcoming stage musical adaptation of the 1963 Jerry Lewis comedy The Nutty Professor, which will have its world premiere this month in Nashville.