Marvin Hamlisch remembered by Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand and more

Composer Marvin Hamlisch performs at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Nov. 8, 2011. AP Photo/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Alex J. Berliner

(CBS/AP) News of Marvin Hamlisch's death has sparked tributes from actors, composers and music artists.

Stars are remembering the man behind more than 40 film scores, including "Sophie's Choice" and "The Sting." On Broadway, Hamlisch received both a Tony and the Pulitzer Prize for long-running favorite "The Chorus Line" and wrote "The Goodbye Girl" and "Sweet Smell of Success."

Pictures: Marvin Hamlisch

Hamlisch also reached into the pop world, writing the No. 1 R&B hit "Break It to Me Gently" with Carole Bayer Sager for Aretha Franklin. He also wrote "The Way We Were," performed by Barbra Streisand.

"He was classic and one of a kind," Franklin said Tuesday. "Who will ever forget 'The Way We Were'?"

Streisand released a statement on her website: "I'm devastated. He was my dear friend. He's been in my life ever since the first day I met him in 1963, when he was my rehearsal pianist for 'Funny Girl.' He played at my wedding in 1998... and recently for me at a benefit for women's heart disease. The world will remember Marvin for his brilliant musical accomplishments, from 'A Chorus Line' to 'The Way We Were,' and so many others, but 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."

Nancy Reagan also released a statement: "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."

Liza Minnelli also spoke out: "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."

See how others are paying tribute to the late composer, who died Monday at age 68 after a brief illness:

  • CBS News Staff

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