George Furth, an
actor and playwright who wrote the book for the
innovative Stephen Sondheim musical Company,
has died. He was 75.
Furth died Monday
at a hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., said Dennis
Aspland, his agent, who didn't know the cause of death.
collaboration with Sondheim started with 1970's
Company, an unconventional, revue-like musical
that followed the tribulations of a 30-something New York
bachelor and his inability to commit to a
relationship. Furth won a Tony for his book for the
show, which was directed by Harold Prince and featured the
choreography of Michael Bennett.
Merrily We Roll Along, based on a play by Moss
Hart and George S. Kaufman, was the duo's second musical
collaboration. They also collaborated on Getting
Away With Murder, a comedy thriller that had a short
Broadway run in 1996.
Furth began his
career as an actor, appearing on Broadway in such
short-lived productions as 1961's A Cook for Mr.
General and the Judy Holliday musical Hot
Spot in 1963.
As a playwright,
Furth had several solo Broadway productions, most
notably Twigs (1971), a comedy that won its
star, Sada Thompson, a Best Actress Tony. Furth also acted
in movies, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
Kid, Myra Breckenridge, Airport '77, and
Shampoo, as well as countless TV comedies. (AP)