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Marvin Hamlisch dies at 68: A look at the composer's film legacy

August 07, 2012|By Steven Zeitchik
  • Marvin Hamlisch wrote both the score and title song for the 1973 Robert Redford-Barbra Streisand romance.
Marvin Hamlisch wrote both the score and title song for the 1973 Robert Redford-Barbra… (Handout / Associated Press )

You may not have recognized his face, but the sounds of Marvin Hamlisch were unmistakable.

Prolific composer Hamlisch, who died Monday at 68, created the score for numerous cinematic classics, providing the music for movies ranging from the intense to the frivolous.

What were some of his better-known cinematic efforts? Here's a brief rundown:

"Take The Money and Run" Woody Allen's early movie about a wayward chain gang would be one of a few Hamlisch collaborations with the director. He also composed the score for "Bananas" and had a score or song in many other non-Allen comedies, including "Three Men and a Baby," "Bedtime Stories" and "How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days," appearing in the latter film as himself.

PHOTOS: Marvin Hamlisch | 1944-2012

"The Way We Were" Perhaps his most notable effort on the big screen, Hamlisch was behind both the score and title song for the 1973 Robert Redford-Barbra Streisand romance -- and won Oscars for each. He would win a third Oscar for his work on "The Sting," for which he wrote or adapted several songs, including the catchy ragtime-y theme "The Entertainer," which was originally written by Scott Joplin.

"Sophie's Choice" Meryl Streep's World War II drama was bolstered by the contribution of Hamlisch, who was nominated for an Oscar for his compositions. The strings in the love theme remain haunting and melancholic 30 years later.

"A Chorus Line" Hamlisch composed the score for the 1975 Broadway version of "A Chorus Line," which garnered him a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize. (He is part of a small group of artists who has an Emmy, Grammy, Tony and Oscar). He was later credited with the music for the 1986 film version, which also yielded an Oscar nomination.

PHOTOS: Stars react to Marvin Hamlisch's death

"The Informant!" Not his best known work, it was, as it turned out, his last as a composer. Hamlisch composed the score for the Steven Soderbergh whistle-blower tale that starred Matt Damon. Fittingly, it netted the composer a Golden Globe nomination.

ALSO:

The movies of Marvin Hamlisch

PHOTOS: Marvin Hamlisch | 1944-2012

Marvin Hamlisch dies at 68: Sudden, brief illness halted busy life

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