R.I.P.: Hairspray writer Mark O'Donnell, movie composer Marvin Hamlisch, film critic Judith Crist
The worlds of stage and screen are mourning the loss of three prominent figures.
Playwright, writer, and humorist Mark O'Donnell died on August 6 in New York City. He was 58 years old. An official cause of death has not been announced yet.
O'Donnell cowrote the Broadway musicals Hairspray (for which he won a Tony Award) and Cry-Baby, which were adapted for film by director John Waters.
His other plays included That's It, Folks!, Strangers on Earth, and The Nice and the Nasty. He also wrote for The New Yorker and The Atlantic, and also published the novels Getting Over Homer and Let Nothing You Dismay.
Meanwhile, composer Marvin Hamlisch also died on August 6, in Los Angeles. He was 68 years old. He collapsed after an illness but full details have not been revealed yet.
Hamlisch scored music for everything from Broadway to Hollywood.
He wrote the music for the title song to the 1973 movie The Way We Were. The song, performed by Barbra Streisand (who also starred in the film), won the Oscar for best original song. He also won Oscars for The Way We Were (best original dramatic score) and The Sting (best original song score and/or adaptation).
He also cowrote the R&B song "Break It To Me Gently", a number-one hit for Aretha Franklin, and "Nobody Does It Better", performed by Carly Simon, from the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
Other films he scored included Sophie's Choice and Ordinary People. Canadian audiences may remember that he also served as a judge on CBC's Triple Sensation in 2007.
Hamlisch amassed a stunning collection of accolades, including Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Golden Globes awards, and a Pulitzer Prize (for A Chorus Line).
In other news, one of the most widely read and most influential film critics Judith Crist died on August 7 in New York City. She was 90 years old.
Crist was the Today show's first regular movie critic (from 1963 to 1973). Her reviews were also published in The New York Herald Tribune (becoming the first female full-time critic for a major American newspaper), New York Magazine (where she was the founding film critic), and TV Guide.
She also taught at the Columbia journalism school for over 50 years.