Broadway Legend Stephen Sondheim Dies Suddenly A Day After Thanksgiving

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Taylor Penley Contributor
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Legendary Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim unexpectedly passed away Friday at age 91, according to his lawyer and friend Richard F. Pappas.

Sondheim spent the previous day celebrating Thanksgiving with several friends and showed no signs of illness during the engagement, Pappas told The New York Times.

He died early the following morning, at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, due to unknown causes.

The legendary songwriter contributed words and/or music to several popular productions including West Side Story, Gypsy, A Little Night Music, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported.

Many described him as “the greatest musical theater artist of the last 60 years,” and as a trailblazer who “carved an unprecedented path” by others, Sondheim’s death elicited responses from several artists and celebrities who revered his works.

“The theater has lost one of its greatest geniuses and the world has lost one of its greatest and most original writers. Sadly, there is now a giant in the sky,” producer Cameron Mackintosh wrote in tribute to Sondheim, according to The Associated Press. (RELATED: Marion Ramsey, Broadway Star And ‘Police Academy’ Actress, Dies At 73, Manager Says)

“Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics!,” actress and singer Barbara Streisand wrote in a tweet, adding, “May he Rest In Peace.”

Sondheim’s “willingness to tackle unusual subjects” helped “reshape American musical theater,” and characterized his enduring legacy and influence, the AP reported.