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Hamlisch’s place in popular culture reached beyond his music. Known for his nerdy look, complete with thick eyeglasses, that image was sealed on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” during Gilda Radner’s “Nerd” sketches. Radner, playing Lisa Loopner, would swoon over Hamlisch.

Hamlisch was principal pops conductor for symphony orchestras in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Dallas, Pasadena, Seattle and San Diego at the time of his death. He was due to lead the New York Philharmonic during its upcoming New Year’s Eve concert.

He was working on a new musical, “Gotta Dance,” at the time of his death and was scheduled to write the score for a new film on Liberace, “Behind the Candelabra.”

He leaves behind a legacy in film and music that transcended notes on the page. As illustrative as the scenes playing out in front of the music, his scores helped define some of Hollywood’s most iconic works.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Terre.

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AP Drama Writer Mark Kennedy contributed from New York and AP Writer Jeff Wilson contributed from Los Angeles.