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Jerry Bock, Broadway composer, dies at 81

Jerry Bock, who composed the music to some of the most memorable shows in Broadway history, including the melodies for "Fiorello!" and "Fiddler on the Roof," has died. He was 81.

Richard M. Ticktin, Bock's attorney and family friend, said the composer died morning at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., of heart failure.

Together with lyricist Sheldon Harnick, Bock wrote the powerful score to "Fiddler on the Roof," one of the most successful productions in the history of the American musical theater, having an initial run of eight years. It earned the two men Tony Awards in 1965.

Bock had recently spoken at a memorial service for "Fiddler" playwright Joseph Stein, who died Oct. 24. "So now two of the three creators of 'Fiddler on the Roof' have passed away within three weeks of each other," Ticktin said.

Bock and Harnick first hit success for the music and lyrics to "Fiorello!," which earned them each Tonys and a rare Pulitzer Prize in 1960. In addition, Bock was nominated for Tonys in 1967 for "The Apple Tree" and in 1971 for "The Rothschilds." He won an Emmy Award this year for helping pen a children's song.

- AP

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