Marvin Hamlisch

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Sweet Smell of Success

The Broadway musical Sweet Smell of Success, based on the 1950s film, earned Tony nominations for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score. Its star John Lithgow, who won the Tony Award for Best Actor, describes Marvin Hamlisch’s score as having hallucinogenic colors. Hear parts of the music and see annotated pages from the score […]

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Leaving Hollywood for Broadway

Marvin Hamlisch earned recognition early in his Hollywood career, and in a big way: He won three Oscars in one evening for his music for the films The Sting and The Way We Were. The native New Yorker was pleased with the work he was doing, but Broadway, his first love, beckoned. His next project […]

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Writing “The Way We Were”

Marvin Hamlisch composed the film score and title song to the film The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. In this excerpt from Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love, Hamlisch sits at the piano and explains what inspired the opening notes to the song “The Way We Were”: hearing bells toll […]

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Marvin Hamlisch’s Parents

Composer Marvin Hamlisch’s parents Max and Lilly Hamlisch were Jewish Austrians who immigrated to New York City from Vienna. His father had been a professional accordionist who played at Viennese balls. Home movies of the family on the streets and playgrounds of New York show Marvin as an expressive young boy. According to Marvin’s cousin […]

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

A Child Prodigy Torn Between Classical and Pop Music

Marvin Hamlisch and his peers discuss his early musical talent, his classical training as a classical pianist, and his secret boyhood dream to be a great popular musician like Cole Porter.

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Pianist Kevin Cole Performs Marvin Medley

Pianist Kevin Cole, renowned for his interpretation of Gershwin and performances from The Great American Songbook canon, is one of many illustrious musicians interviewed in Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love. As a tribute to the late composer and his friend, Cole arranged and performed this piano medley from three of Hamlisch’s songs: “The […]

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Marvin Hamlisch, a Mensch

Marvin Hamlisch is a mensch. What is a mensch, you ask? The term comes from the Yiddish, for “human being,” but is used to describe a person of integrity and honor. The composer Marvin Hamlisch offered his genuine concern, time, money and problem-solving skills to everyone in his life, from friends to Broadway cast members […]

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Marvin Hamlisch, a Musical Genius

Marvin Hamlisch’s musical genius was recognized at an early age: the musical prodigy entered Juilliard, the country’s most prestigious conservatory, at the age of six. In this film extra from Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love, luminaries in entertainment and music attest to his brilliance and versatility. What puts Hamlisch in the same category […]

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Full Film

Composer, conductor, genius, mensch: Marvin Hamlisch 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. With exclusive access to Hamlisch’s personal archival treasure trove, American Masters explores his prolific life and career.