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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BROADWAY DIMS ITS LIGHTS IN MEMORY OF TONY WINNER LARRY GELBART
September 15, 2009
The Broadway community mourns the loss of multiple Tony Award-winning librettist, Larry Gelbart, whose work was seen on Broadway for over four decades. Also a playwright and a screenwriter for TV and movies, Mr. Gelbart died on September 11th at his home in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 81.
Mr. Gelbart was known as a genius of comedy writing and a master of the one-liner. Along with Burt Shevelove, Mr Gelbart won the 1963 Tony Award for Best Author of a Musical for the 1963 Best Musical Tony Winner, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (produced by Harold Prince, directed by George Abbott, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and starring Zero Mostel). In 1990, he won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for City of Angels.
Mr. Gelbart developed the landmark TV series "M*A*S*H" and co-wrote the classic Hollywood comedy "Tootsie." He wrote the Broadway plays Sly Fox (based on Ben Jonson's Volpone) and Mastergate. He was recently working with lyricist David Zippel on new musicals.
Both City of Angels (with score by Cy Coleman and Zippel) and Forum (with score by Stephen Sondheim) won the Tony for Best Musical.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Pat Gelbart.
The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory tonight, Tuesday, September 15th, at exactly 8:00pm for one minute.