- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reaction to the death of composer Marvin Hamlisch.

“When I think of him now, it was his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity, and delicious sense of humor that made him a delight to be around. Just last night, I was trying to reach him, to tell him how much I loved him, and that I wanted to use an old song of his, that I had just heard for the first time. He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being. I will truly miss him.” _ Barbra Streisand.

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Marvin Hamlisch was a dear friend and I am truly stunned by his death at such a young age. I heard him say once that he was `old fashioned’ and I suppose that’s why Ronnie and I were so drawn to him, but I don’t think you could ever find a more contemporary and talented musician. During our time at the White House, he entertained at many events _ he even let me sing with him a few times, but luckily his piano music drowned out my voice! And I’ll never forget that he wrote a special song for Ronnie’s surprise 77th birthday party in 1988.” _ Nancy Reagan.

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“I’m shocked by the loss of a great colleague, as is everyone in the theater and film business and every corner of the arts where song and score matter to people. The fraternity of songwriters has lost a great friend.” _ Composer Alan Menken.

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“He was one of the funniest people I knew. I will miss his talent, our laughter and friendship, but mostly I will miss Marvin. My heart is with his wife Terre always. I have lost my first lifelong best friend, and sadly we have lost a splendid, splendid talent.” _ Liza Minnelli.

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Marvin was a friend and mentor, but often felt like a second father to me. To have shared the stage with such a legend has been some of the most rewarding moments in my career. Not only does he leave us with the most precious of melodies and music, but anyone who has ever shared an after show drink with him can attest to his hysterical storytelling and deep love for his stunning wife, Terre. My heart is broken. He made me feel so special. I love him so much.” _ Idina Menzel.

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“His work had a significant influence on our culture, and continues to reach across generations. The music industry has lost a truly gifted artist, and our condolences are with his family, friends and all those who were inspired by his singular talent.” _ Recording Academy President Neil Portnow

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“His musicianship, his humor, and his friendship will be deeply missed and the memories will long be treasured by all at the NSO.” _ National Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Rita Shapiro.

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