Carly Simon Loses Both Sisters to Cancer: Broadway Composer Lucy Simon And Opera Singer Joanna Simon Die One Day Apart

Musician Carly Simon has lost both of her sisters, Lucy and Joanna, to cancer one day apart from each other. Lucy, known throughout her life and career as a composer on Broadway, died of metastatic breast cancer at the age of 82 on Thursday in her Piermont, N.Y. home. Joanna, the oldest of the sisters who was known as an opera singer, died of thyroid cancer at 85 on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

During Lucy Simon’s Broadway career, she was nominated for a Tony award in Original Score for her work on the long-running musical “The Secret Garden.” Before she became a composer, she and Carly Simon started out as a folk act in Provincetown, Mass. billed as the Simon Sisters, and their recording of “Wynken, Blynken & Nod” reached No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964. in 1981, Lucy Simon won a Grammy with her husband David Levine in Best Recording for Children for “In Harmony,” winning the award again in 1983 for the album’s sequel.

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More recently, Lucy Simon had contributed work to the musical “On Cedar Street,” based on the 2015 book “Our Souls at Night” with Victoria Clark directing, but her cancer battle forced her to step away from the project. She is survived by her husband David, her daughter Julie and former husband Christopher Knight, her sister Carly, grandchildren Sophie, Ben, Charlie and Evie.

Joanna Simon started performed regularly on opera and concert stages in 1962, when she made her debut at the New York City Opera as Mozart’s Cherubino. In 1972, she performed the titular role in the world premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s “Black Widow” at the Seattle Opera, while in 1975 she performed the role of Pelagia in the world premiere of Robert Starer’s “The Last Lover” at the Caramoor Music Festival. Her singing career ran through until 1986, participating in numerous recordings along the way with orchestras, including performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

After she retired from music, Joanna worked as an arts correspondent for PBS’s “MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour” until 1992, where she won an Emmy in 1991 for her report on bipolar disorder and creativity. She was married to novelist and journalist Gerald Walker from 1976 until his death in 2004, and she had a relationship with Walter Cronkite from 2005 until his death in 2009.

Lucy and Joanna Simon’s deaths follow the death of brother Peter, the youngest of the four siblings who was a photographer. He died of cardiac arrest at the age of 71 in 2018 after a bout with cancer.

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