Renowned songwriter Stephen Sondheim, who wrote “West Side Story” and a dozen other Broadway shows, died at his home in Roxbury, Conn. on Friday at the age of 91.
His death was announced by his friend and lawyer, F. Richard Pappas, who said it was sudden and Sondheim was not known to be ill. He added that Sondheim had celebrated Thanksgiving with friends in Roxbury the day before his death, according to The New York Times.
Sondheim, regarded as one of the most influential composer-lyricists of his time, was one of just a handful of people who have written the words to go along with their own musical scores, the Times reported.
For the first show in which Sondheim wrote both words and music, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” he won a Tony Award for best musical, and the production ran for over two years, the Times added.
He wrote the lyrics for “West Side Story” and “Gypsy” and produced a series of original works in the 1970s and 1980s, which was regarded as his most productive period, per the Times. Those works included “Company,” “Sunday in the Park With George” and “Into the Woods” among other productions.
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