The Internet is in mourning today following the death of musical maestro Stephen Sondheim. The genius composer behind many of the most successful shows in Broadway history passed away this weekend at the age of 91. As an unparalleled influential figure in the theater world whose work has been a fixture of the stage since the 1950s, news of his death has come as a huge blow to many, with social media being full of tributes from his fans, both famous and otherwise.
The New York native won a total of eight Grammy awards, nine Tony Awards, one Academy Award and even a Pulitzer Prize across his illustrious career spanning seven decades. In 2015, President Barack Obama adorned Sondheim with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award a civilian can receive, for his work, which includes Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and penning the lyrics to West Side Story.
Everyone involved in the theatrical world is devastated today.
Meanwhile, fans are reflecting on how much his work means to them.
Anna Kendrick, who played Cinderella in Disney’s 2014 Into the Woods movie, said performing his music “has been among the greatest privileges of my career.”
X-Men actor and musical veteran Hugh Jackman believes that Sondheim “fundamentally shift[ed] an entire art form.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, director of the Sondheim-influenced tick, tick… BOOM!, compared the composer to Shakespeare.
He wasn’t the only one, either, as screen and stage star Josh Gad did the same.
Sondheim’s death comes just a couple of weeks before Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story adaptation hits theaters on Dec. 10. Rachel Zegler, who stars as Maria, shared a touching memory of how generous Sondheim was with those just starting out.
Something to remember when paying respects to the man.
This says it all…
Stephen Sondheim‘s reps have confirmed that he died at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. The exact cause of death is unknown but it’s been stated that he was able to spend Thanksgiving with his family prior to his passing. May his memory be a blessing.