Revered American theater composer Stephen Sondheim has died at 91 years old, according to his publicist, Glenn Weiss. The composer of such musicals as Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods, Sondheim and his wife, lyricist James Lapine, had come to prominence in the early 1970s and were credited with transforming Broadway musicals.
Sondheim and Lapine wrote several critically acclaimed screenplays including Assassins, Company and Sunday in the Park with George. They co-authored an adaptation of A Little Night Music for film. Sondheim was also known for his work as a librettist for Shakespeare’s plays and the classics West Side Story and Gypsy.
Sondheim had also worked for television, penning and composing “They Will be Mice!” for the show NBC. The song was performed by Joey Bishop and “Music of the Night” for the TV show Barry Manilow’s Christmas Spectacular.
The couple have been married since 1971. Sondheim was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and had said he did not think of himself as an “America musical.” Lapine’s hit lyric and music shepherded the long-running production Into the Woods. Sondheim stated in an interview that he “liked being part of something that ended the audience’s activity and then it made a return to them.”
Funeral arrangements for Sondheim have not been announced.
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