The award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim has died at the age of 91. Sondheim passed away at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut where he had celebrated Thanksgiving with friends the day before. His death was announced by his lawyer F. Richard Pappas.
Sondheim was one of the preeminent composers and lyricists of the 20th century. His works included lyrics for West Side Story which is set to be released as a movie by Steven Spielberg next month. He also created other shows like A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Sweeny Todd, Into the Woods, Assasins, and many more.
Throughout the course of his career, Sondheim won an Academy Award for Sooner or Later (I Always Gets My Man) from Dick Tracy, 8 Tony Awards, and 8 Grammy Awards. He also received a Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Sunday in the Park with George. Among the other many awards he garnered, he was also given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2015.
Sondheim was active late in life. He recently stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to sing his praises of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.
“It’s really terrific,” Sondheim said about West Side Story. “Everybody go. You’ll really have a good time. And for those of you who know the show, there’s going to be some real surprises.” Sondheim said Kushner “has done some really imaginative and surprising things with the way the songs are used in the story, and the whole thing has real sparkle to it and real energy, and it feels fresh. It’s really first-grade, and movie musicals are hard to do and this one, Spielberg and Kushner really, really nailed it.”
For most of Sondheim’s life, he lived alone. However, in the 1960s, he lived with Peter Jones. Then in 2017, he married Jeffrey Romley, who survives him. His half-brother Walter Sondheim also lives on.