Marvin Hamlisch, a composer who moved effortlessly from movies to musical theatre to television, winning Grammys, Emmys, Oscars and a Tony award, died unexpectedly on Monday, August 6, at the age of 68 after a brief illness. Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers are the only two composers who have won all of those awards as well as a Pulitzer Prize. As the composer of “A Chorus Line,” Hamlisch shared the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1976.
Hamlisch’s award-winning work spans decades. He won his first two Oscars for the score and title song for “The Way We Were” (1973) and collected the third music Oscar offered that year for his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s ragtime music for “The Sting.” He wrote the score or songs for more than 40 movies.
Among his Oscar nominations were the score for “Sophie’s Choice” (1982) and the score for “The Spy Who Loves Me.” (1977.) “Nobody Does It Better,” the song he wrote for that James Bond movie with his then girlfriend, lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, was nominated for best original song. His relationship with Bayer Sager also spawned a hit Broadway musical, “They’re Playing Our Song,” (1979) about the romantic problems of a composer and a young lyricist. Hamlisch’s last Oscar nomination came in 1997 for the song “I Finally Found Someone” from Barbra Streisand's “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”