Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim, a composer and lyricist best known for his work in West Side Story, died Friday at the age of 91, Fox News reported.
Widely regarded as among the best composers in Broadway’s storied history, Sondheim is credited with writing the lyrics for shows including West Side Story and Gypsy early in his career.
He went on to write the music and lyrics for Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, and Into The Woods, Fox said.
A legend lost
The New York Times was the first to report on Sondheim’s death on Friday. The composer’s personal friend and attorney, F. Richard Pappas, told the outlet that the Broadway legend died suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut.
Just a day prior, Pappas said, the composer had been celebrating Thanksgiving with friends.
Sondheim has been remembered by outlets including Classic FM as a “beloved” musician who reinvented the musical genre with influential works spanning from the mid-20th century to modern day.
According to Classic FM, over the course of his career, Sondheim received more than a dozen awards, including “eight Grammy awards, nine Tony awards, one Academy Award, and a Pulitzer Prize.”
He even received the most prestigious award a civilian can receive, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, bestowed upon him by then-President Barack Obama in 2015 in recognition of his innovative work, according to Fox.
Sondheim’s death sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry as stars paid tribute to the late legend. According to The Wrap, actor Josh Gad, known for his role on Broadway’s The Book of Mormon, called the composer a “revolutionary voice” in a tweet Friday.
Perhaps not since April 23rd of 1616 has theater lost such a revolutionary voice. Thank you Mr. Sondheim for your Demon Barber, some Night Music, a Sunday in the Park, Company, fun at a Forum, a trip Into the Woods and telling us a West Side Story. RIP. 🙏 https://t.co/jHX7ob9JWv
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) November 26, 2021
Comedian Stephen Colbert, who starred in a 2011 production of Sondheim’s Company, also dedicated a tweet to the composer, who Colbert said “will live with us forever.”
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) November 26, 2021