'Sweeney Todd' Composer Stephen Sondheim Dead at 91 (UPDATE)

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Image via Getty/Paul Zimmerman
Image via Getty/Paul Zimmerman

UPDATED 11/27, 10:35 p.m. ET: Tributes to Stephen Sondheim have been pouring in from the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hugh Jackman, Anna Kendrick, Uzo Aduba, John Lithgow, Idina Menzel, David Alan Grier, Ava DuVernay, and more on Twitter:

See original story below.

Musical theater is mourning the loss of one of its most celebrated legends.

According to the New York Times, award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim died early Friday at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. Though details surrounding his death have not been revealed, his good friend and lawyer F. Richard Pappas told the Times the death was “sudden,” and confirmed Sondheim had celebrated Thanksgiving Day with a dinner among friends.

Sondheim’s passion for musical theater reportedly began during his childhood, when he was introduced to the art through family friend Oscar Hammerstein. After graduating from Williams College in 1950, Sondheim spent several years struggling to get his big break on Broadway. He reportedly moved to Los Angeles to write for the television series Topper, but returned to New York City shortly after and was eventually hired to write lyrics for West Side Story. The musical ran on Broadway for more than 700 performances, and recently received a film adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg.

Sondheim spoke about the upcoming musical feature during an appearance The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

“It’s really terrific. Everybody go,” Sondheim said about the film, which hits theaters next month. “You’ll really have a good time. And for those of you who know the show, there’s going to be some real surprises.”

Other notable work from Sondheim include Gypsy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, Sweene Todd, Into the Woods, and, most recently, Road Show. During his decades-long career, Sondheim received a slew of honors, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, eight Tony Awards, eight Grammys, and a Pulitzer Prize.

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