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The funeral for the late composer Marvin Hamlisch was held on Tuesday, with several celebrities in the crowd, lining up to pay tribute to the Oscar-winning composer behind “The Way We Were” and A Chorus Line.
“Genius is rare enough, but a good-hearted genius is rarer still,” former president Bill Clinton told Hamlisch’s friends and family at Manhattan’s Temple Emanu-El, the same temple where George Gershwin’s funeral was held in 1937, reports The New York Times. “A good-hearted, humble and hilarious genius? Almost unheard-of,” Clinton added.
Clinton said that Hamlisch “gave us all the gift of our memories.”
Sony Corporation chairman Howard Stringer spoke, calling Hamlisch a “merry minstrel” who had a “mischievous smile.”
Other celebrities who made it to the funeral to say goodbye to Hamlisch include Richard Gere, Liza Minnelli, Diane Sawyer, Mike Nichols, Candice Bergen and Tony Danza.
A choir was on hand to perform “The Way We Were” and “What I Did for Love” and Idina Menzel performed A Chorus Line’s “At The Ballet.”
Barbra Streisand, Hamlisch's longtime friend and the original performer of "The Way We Were," was surprisingly absent.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the Pasadena Symphony and Pops have announced that they will hold a tribute concert on Sept. 22 at Pasadena's City Hall. Jason Alexander will host, with Lisa Vroman, Val Perry and others set to perform.
Hamlisch died last week at age 68. He is one of the elite group in the entertainment business to have won an Oscar, a Tony, a Grammy, a Golden Globe and an Emmy. He won three Oscars in 1974 for The Sting and The Way We Were. He also earned a Pulitzer for A Chorus Line.