Composer, conductor, genius, mensch: Marvin Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – Aug. 6, 2012) earned four Grammys, four Emmys, three Oscars, three Golden Globes, a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize before his untimely death, making him one of only two PEGOT winners ever. Hit after hit — “The Way We Were,” “Nobody Does It Better” and scores for The Sting, Sophie’s Choice and the Broadway juggernaut A Chorus Line — made him the go-to composer and performer for film, Broadway, every U.S. President since Reagan and concert halls worldwide. With exclusive access to Hamlisch’s personal archival treasure trove and complete cooperation from his family, Dramatic Forces and THIRTEEN’s American Masters explore his prolific life and career in the series’ Season 27 finale, Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love, Friday, December 27 at 9pm.
In the first film biography about Hamlisch, award-winning filmmaker and four-time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Dori Berinstein (Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, Gotta Dance, ShowBusiness: The Road To Broadway) presents a deeply personal, insider portrait of one of the greatest artists of our time. Candid new interviews with Hamlisch’s family, friends and A-list collaborators include wife Terre Blair Hamlisch, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Steven Soderbergh, Quincy Jones, Christopher Walken, Sir Tim Rice, Joe Torre, Woody Allen, John Lithgow, Lucie Arnaz, Ann-Margret, Sir Howard Stringer, Kelli O’Hara, Brian D’Arcy James, Idina Menzel, Melissa Manchester, songwriter Carole Bayer Sager and many others.
“Marvin Hamlisch was a consummate artist: gifted, creative and personable. His music is part of the essential soundtrack to so many of our lives,” said Susan Lacy, creator and executive producer of American Masters.
“Marvin’s astounding musical genius was certainly breathtaking, but it was his irrepressible joy for life and his unending generosity that constantly had me in awe. What a tremendous honor and challenge to capture the magic of this singular sensation,” said Berinstein, who was friends with Hamlisch and collaborated with him on a new Broadway musical before his death. She is working to finish the musical, which will feature his final score.
A musical prodigy accepted to Juilliard at age six, Hamlisch defied classical expectations to create his own music, dedicating his talents to musical theatre and pop music composition. By age 31, he achieved unprecedented success and honors with a string of smash hits, and then his streak ended. Faced with overwhelming pressure and sky-high expectations to repeat his hits, Hamlisch fell into a self-described “period of suffocating despair,” before rebounding to find true love worthy of a Broadway musical and renewed passion for creation. Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love reveals the events that led to both his staggering success and, ultimately, his even greater humanity: his creative process, struggles, inner turmoil and breakthroughs.