Marvin Hamlisch, the multiple-award-winning composer, has died, according to The Associated Press. He was 68. No cause of death was immediately available.
Hamlisch, one of the few people on Earth to have won Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, Golden Globes, a Tony and a Pulitzer, has a resume of films scores and theme songs too long to list. Among his most recognizable:
"The Way We Were,” 1973
“The Spy Who Loved Me,” 1977
“Ordinary People,” 1980
“Sophie's Choice,” 1982
Those were all sweeping, sometimes romantic scores, but one of Hamlisch's most enduring contributions to film music came with his comedies. He scored Woody Allen's “Take the Money and Run” and “Bananas,” adapted Scott Joplin's piano rags for “The Sting” and scored Neil Simon's dark comedy “The Prisoner of Second Avenue.”
Those soundtracks were possibly more recognizably Hamlischian than his serious works. Along with Henry Mancini (the “Pink Panther” movies), Hamlisch helped create the amiably kooky sound that still defines the farces of the 1970s, with chirpy flutes, kazoos, bouncy rhythms and the cheeky “ding” of a triangle.
When Steven Soderbergh began searching for a composer for his 2009 comedy “The Informant!," he considered Hamlisch but never thought he'd get the venerable old lion. To his surprise, Hamlisch signed up. The soundtrack, his last, is one of the best parts of the film.
Here's a sample: