Stephen Sondheim, one of musical theatre’s most celebrated writers, has passed away aged 91.
Although the name might not be instantly recognizable for some, you’ve most definitely fallen in love with one, two, or hundreds of Stephen Sondheim songs in your life.
From West Side Story and Sweeny Todd to A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Into The Woods, Sondheim built his career up to become one of the most celebrated names on Broadway, with his works constantly revisited by theatre companies, film studios, and orchestras alike.
Sondheim passed away on Friday the day after celebrating thanksgiving, with his death described by friend and lawyer Richard Papas as “sudden.”
Tributes have subsequently flown in from some of the entertainment industry’s brightest stars, including homegrown Hollywood heartthrob Hugh Jackman.
“Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Stephen Sondheim was one of those,” he wrote on Twitter.
“As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest.”
Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest. pic.twitter.com/4KlnJJJipq
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) November 26, 2021
Anna Kendrick was also amoung the tributaries, noting that singing his songs was “fucking difficult”, and described his passing as a “devastating loss.”
I was just talking to someone a few nights ago about how much fun (and fucking difficult) it is to sing Stephen Sondheim. Performing his work has been among the greatest privileges of my career. A devastating loss.
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) November 26, 2021
Included in Sondheim’s swathe of achievements are a staggering nine Tony Awards and eight Grammys, as well as a Lifetime Achievement award in the 1993 Kennedy Center Honors, and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Check out some of his work below.