Barbra speaks on the passing of her friend, Marvin Hamlisch

"I’m devastated. He was my dear friend. He’s been in my life ever since the first day I met him in 1963, when he was my rehearsal pianist for “Funny Girl.” He played at my wedding in 1998… and recently for me at a benefit for women’s heart disease. The world will remember Marvin for his brilliant musical accomplishments, from “A Chorus Line” to “The Way We Were,” and so many others, but when I think of him now, it was his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity, and delicious sense of humor that made him a delight to be around. Just last night, I was trying to reach him, to tell him how much I loved him, and that I wanted to use an old song of his, that I had just heard for the first time. He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being. I will truly miss him.”

Barbra Streisand

Comments for this News article

Dearest Barbra:

So very sorry for the loss of your life long friend and brilliant musical partner. Like many have said, you, naturally are the first thought that came to mind upon hearing the news of Mr. Hamlisch's passing. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
God Bless.
Much love to you,
Courtney (brbrafn), MI

Condolences to Marvlin Hamlisch's Family as well.

My dearest Barbra, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend Marvin. I was in Las Vegas when I heard the news. I of course was deeply saddened and so shocked. Ironically this is the first place I met Marvin Hamlish after your concert there at the MGM Grand. Life really does come full circle. He was coming up the escalator and graciously allowed me to take his picture. I was able to let him know that we share the same birthday...June 2nd not the same year but both Gemini's. He then came to the Fox Theatre in Hutchinson KS and I was in the front row snapping pictures. He jokingly said, " Don't you want to come up here on stage and get a better shot?" I was out of my seat and up on stage so fast I think we were both surprised. Both of us being New Yorkers we played off each other and the audience loved it. I guess we have a similar sense of humor. I also surprised Marvin at the airport before he left to thank him again for entertaining us so magnificently the night before. Timing is everything, just by chance I was there at the right time. I also asked him to send you the brass ring I got from the oldest carrousel in the country. He said he couldn't and I understood and mailed it to you myself. Then at the NYC concert in 2006 I was so disappointed that Marvin was not conducting your concert. I saw him in the audience there and I shouted a hello to him and said, "We sure do miss you up there." He just smiled and said, "Thank you." Then just over a year ago he was back here in Wichita, KS. I got the VIP ticket so I could meet Marvin again after the show. He is just sweet and generous. He signed the Timeless concert program for me and I found myself wishing I could spend more time with him and just talk about how he created such amazing music...I love the piano too. I am so touched how Marvin has been there for you all these years. I know he was grateful to be your friend and you are grateful to be his friend. Life long friendships are rare especially in the entertainment business you were both lucky to find one another. Marvin’s musical talent will live on forever and the person that he was is a true reflection of who I aspire to be as well... generous, kind, giving, funny and humble….thank you Marvin for all these special memories that do light the corners of my mind. Barbra know Marvin’s spirit lives on …it will never die.
I will be with you in spirit on Monday for Marvin’s funeral service wish I could be there in person to help lift up your heart…because I am a true friend of yours just like Marvin is and always will be. With much love and peace, Lynn Engelke Wichita KS

I am sorry for your loss. I pray for your strength in God. He will be missed.

Wow, this is such a shock! Marvin Hamlisch was such an inspiration to songwriters and composers like me. The Way We Were is one of my favorite melodies. I always picture Marvin sitting at his piano arranging. Actually, he's been in my life too ever since 1963, because that is the year I was born! They just do not write songs like his anymore and it is a huge loss for the music world. I believe that Marvin has gone into Heaven to fulfill a higher calling and that his piano up there, will have more music notes than he knows what to do with! I am so sorry and I send my heart felt sympathy to you. My heart is touched with many tears. Thank you Marvin for everything you did to make our lives more beautiful. So it's the laughter, we will remember, whenever we remember...The Way We Were! Sending you hugs and comforting words Barbra...with love KKB
From the 4th Book of the Torah (Bamidvar/Numbers 6:22-27 and Psalm 100.)

I am sorry for your loss Barbra....he was a brilliant man!

His music was the music of our lives!

As soon as I heard I had what turned into a 5 hour Marvin Hamlisch retrospective playing YouTube.

I am your age and Brooklyn born as well. Saw you on stage in Funny Girl.

Thank you for giving us so much music and happiness all these years.

Thank you Marvin Hamlisch.

Reva Tucker
Boca Raton, Florida

Barbra,
I believe in fate. You and Mr. Hamlisch were meant to meet. How fortunate to have had such a long and wonderful personal and creative relationship. How fortunate that so much of it will continue through the music you've created together. My thoughts are with you and Mr. Hamlisch's family. I thank you both for the immense pleasure your collaborations have given me (and so many others) for so many years.....Martin S.

Dear Barbra,
Marvin always brought music to my heart and a smile to my face on his visits to Milwaukee. I will always remember his enormous talent and quick wit. He was a treasure never to be forgotten. Marvin was supposed to pass a message to you from me. I have observed that you are fond of the color white. Calatrava's first building project in the United States was the Milwaukee Art Museum situated on Lake Michigan. The interior is white marble, the perfect setting for a photo shoot featuring you! Please know that my thoughts are with you as you grieve for your dear friend. My warmest wishes are always sent your way.

At the age of 14 I accidentally switched on MY NAME IS BARBRA. I had NO idea who this woman was......but I was staggered by her talent. I have been a huge fan ever since. I sent her flowers when she opened the International in Las Vegas. She graciously sent a thank you note. How cool was that!! Over the years my admiration for her talent has only grown, and her work for the causes she believes in has only added to the respect I give to her as a humanitarian. Her work to help others has transcended a fan's love of the persona to genuine respect for the person. I saw her in Las Vegas in 1994 and like the rest of the audience was BLOWN AWAY and now I get to attend another concert! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU and may God continue to bestow blessings on you for all the wonderful things you do!! Rick in Phoenix

Im very sad Marvin has passed away. Please my simpathy to his family. I as a devoted fan of him, his songs, his music still I sing them every day. He was awesome, with Barbra at Las Vegas Concert and later in the Timeless concerts. Wonderful music partner for you Barbra. Im gonna miss his talent and charisma, he was awesome. RIP MARVIN.

After a long day at work, and not having been in touch with the news all day, I was totally shocked at the passing of our dear Marvin. My first thoughts went immediately to you. There are no words to explain how the heart hurts when we lose someone we love. My thoughts, my prayers, and my love are with Marvin's family, you and yours...Joy

My regrets to the entire World... All the beautiful music we will never hear... True Genius !

Dear Barbra,
I am truly sorry for your loss. I was very fortunate to see and meet Marvin at his show at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA back in 2010. He was amazing, funny and a true gentleman. He and his music will live on forever.
With respect,
Kevin Carr

I'm really sorry, for all of us, but especially for you Barbra. It's a terrible lost.

Now, when I watch you performs that I see Marvin I'll feel this big lost.

I'm sad for me, for you, for world.

Be ok.

Paula Bellini

Sorry for the loss of your friend. He was one of a kind i'm sure, and his music will live forever.

There has never been a time that I've heard Marvin Hamlisch's name and not thought of Barbra Streisand. Upon hearing of his passing, the same held true; I knew you would be devastated. I'm so sorry for your loss and all those who were close to him. His spirit and music shall live on forever!

A true legend has now gone

My heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your dear friend. Your memories of him will live on forever. Perhaps now when you sing The Way We Were, you'll have a new found meaning to add to the song. Individually, each of your talent was unsurpassed, together, you were brilliant. Such a loss.

how sad you must be feeling with the loss of mr hamlisch...but you do have your memories of "the way you were" with your dear friend...stay strong and sing it for him

Dear Barbra:

I send you my deepest condolences and sympathies as I have known, over the years, how much Mr. Hamlisch meant to you. You have been an inspiration to me my entire life, I felt compelled to share these thoughts with you. May you find a smile in your memories and a familiar song in your heart....

Caren W. Luxenberg, Coral Springs, FL

I SAW MARVIN IN NYC IN JUNE 1994.WAS THE EVENING OF THE STONEWALL PARADE.WHAT A GREAT DAY!!!!

So sad to lose such a musical and human inspiration so quickly. A reminder to live life as fully as we can each and every day. While I am sure the loss of your long time friend and collaborator is a terrible blow, at least you have the comfort of having made (and shared) music together over decades that wil continue tol live, sing, inspire and move people forever - even long after we have all gone to join Mr. Hamlisch's well-trained orchestra in the sky.

All the best to you...

a genius,sadly missed x

I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of Marvin Hamlisch. I cannot imaging the loss you are feeling. The Way We Were will be played with a different heart, now. My thoughts and prayers go to you and Marvin's family. God Bless.

I came to know about Marvin Hamlisch through Barbra's concert DVDs. I'm a huge fan of Barbra's and Marvin played an important role in her successful concerts and many songs she has performed. It was so evident how close Barbra and Marvin were and the loving respect they had for one another. I was deeply upset by the news of his passing. What an enormous loss of his talent, humanitarianism, and friendship for those who personally knew him. When I heard of his passing, my thoughts went to Barbra--I knew she would be devastated by the loss of her dear friend whom she obviously adored. My sympathies go out to his wife, family and to dear Barbra.

Ms Streisand is a beautiful and kind lady besides being an extraordinary human being and most likely THE best singer ever, her lost for Mr Hamlish will be missed

We all loved him and i give my condolences to his family. We all hope you rest in peace Mr.Marvin Hamlisch.

You are the first person I thought of when I heard this news. Following your music over the years, I know how much you loved each other. I am so sorry for your loss.

I too thought he had a genius mind. I saw him on the stage in Albuquerque and marveled at the way he used his mind to create great music from just someone humming. His humor was warm and bright.

I met him in May, 2012, in a lounge at JFK Airport. We spoke and I took a picture with him. We laughed about my recognizing him. I was napping and I heard his voice and recognized him. I asked him, "Did anyone ever tell you that you looked like Marvin Hamlisch"? He said, "There's a funny reason for that...I am Marvin Hamlisch".

I had followed his career over the years and of course it was a thrill to actually meet him. I know he could never realize how he affected people with his music, and how many people hum his music as part of life.

I will miss him.

The pair of you two will never be mached. Our hearts are with you in this time of the loss of your friend.

Marvin was" One singular sensation!" The greatest. His music will be remembered forever.
I saw a chorus line 15 times. The Sting was pure genius. The way we were pure magic....The greatest love song ever..He literly moved my heart and soul and when a person can do that without ever touching, meeting or knowing you that is perfection. I am so sorry for your loss Barbra. Your music together was such a blessing to all of us. I am praying for your loss Barbra that your heart heals. I will see you in Brooklyn in October,coming from Chicago. So excited,yet a cloud of sadness goes out to you and his friends and family. Doctors can only heal our hearts. People like Marvin and Barbra move it. Nothing moves our soul like love,and music. And that is the best feeling of all.lolakazam@att.net

I am so sorry for your loss, and the loss to all of us who love musical theatre and music.
I hold onto the thought, that as long as one is remembered they are immortal.
and
“Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven
where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us
to let us know they are happy.” ~ Eskimo Legend

My sincere condolances. mary jaco (houston, tx)

Barbra, you and Marvin Hamlisch made magic together. My deepest sympathy to you, Mr. Hamlisch's other close friends and his family. Larry from Toronto.

Here's a great tribute to Marvin Hamlisch by another amazing performer who passed away too young.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4VRqFUSIvY

Barbra,
My first thought after reading that Marvin had passed away was you...I have been such a huge fan of yours.
Consistently, Marvin was ever present whenever I had a chance to see you..be at a concert or on TV.
I heard you refer to him as "your dear friend".
HUGE..loss for you...
Thoughts and prayers to you.....
Sincerly,
Diane Hoyos-Gomez

Dear Ms. Streisand,

Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your beloved friend and collaborator, Marvin Hamlisch. Together you've given the world some of the most remarkable music. He was truly a master composer, arranger and conductor.
May you find peace and comfort in the memory of times you shared with him both professionally and personally. His talent will be sorely missed but fortunately for us his musical legacy will endure.

With sympathy and warmest regards,

Dan

I love you Barbra and Marvin Hamlisch. You have both inspired me for a lifetime.
He wrote me a letter when I lived in Hawaii,
about my instrumental for piano and violins called "Waterfall."
I was undoubtedly influenced by his Niagara.
10 years later I saw him in person in Lakeland, FL 2011.
I waited 38 years to see Marvin Hamlisch in person.
I shall cherish my ticket stubs, and handwritten letter with Marvin's stationery.
I enjoy my NEW double album set "What Matters Most,"
and the picture with Marvin inside, everyday.
I shall keep writing music with you both in mind. God Bless You !

Thank you Barbra.
Love,
Sharon
mySpace.com/mySharon

Barbra, I never knew Marvin Hamlisch but I did sit behind him at the Lucille Lortel Theatre when they put on "Steel Magnolias" in 1988. My deepest condolences to you. You and Marvin truly are a musical inspiration that have delighted millions for so many years.

Ms. Streisand

Accept my condolences on the loss of your dear friend, Marvin Hamlisch. I had the pleasure of meeting him during a symphony event in Pennsylvania ten years ago. He was a remarkably talented and gracious man.

Regards,

John E. Matteo
Palm Beach, Florida

*

There is a point in life when there is nothing one can say to another without seeming self-serving. Yet, no greater expression of love is the treasure inherent in being true to your unconditional expressions of love for your dear friend, Mr. Marvin Hamlisch.

As always, Barbra, our hearts are with you and yours.

*

Old "automatic double posting" removed by author - Seán Clarke-Redmond

Be well,

- Seán

Barbra,

I wish you had a comment box about Mitt Romney and the article in "Vanity Fair". I love that magazine because the articles are pretty much right on the money. I never trusted that man and you're right. He doesn't seem to be very forthright about all the money he made. He made a recent appearance in Las Vegas and I wanted to go as I was visiting a friend there..They are Republicans, I am not to say the least. Your speech "Artist as Citizen" at Harvard was amazing. I have a big family from my fathers side that live in Boston. They're all staunch Democrats. They don't like Republicans and my uncles made so much fun of George Bush, Jr., I have to say, and I know it's awful, but it was hilarious... anyway, the point I'm getting at is why were all the other candidates that were extremely wealthy so willing to come forward their tax records from past elections. We have John Kerry who is married to an Heiress.. probably billions there..There was never an issue with him. I heard what Mitt was saying here in one of the worst areas of Vegas where the crime is exceptionally high.. It was in North Las Vegas. He said pure baloney. I don't believe in any of the five things he's stating he's going to promise. If he so much as thinks of appointing any new Supreme Court justices that would overturn Roe v Wade..if he takes a woman's right to choose away, strike 3, that going with his reluctance pure lies about Obama. I knew Obama was going to get blamed for the lousy economic strife we suffered in 2008 and still, but it has improved. Bush left us with a mess. These people don't seem to understand you hand over a government that is in the mess that Bush left us from the 8 preceding years, who gets blamed. He gets sworn in office and people want to start to blame, blame, blame. I say give him another 4 years and I'm sure he's got great plans underway. Romney is a fake. He has not a clue as to what the average American is going through economically, financially, job-wise..with the cut backs. He doesn't need to. He has too many maids, butlers and the extremely wealthy on his side.. He doesn't get it. He's the worst choice and the baloney promises he's making is making majority of America sick. He made $20 million last year.. oh the poor guy. I feel so badly for him. Why couldn't he have taken over what his fathers values were. He's a selfish person. He wants to cut taxes for all of his friends.. as he would think.. It's disgusting.. I seriously don't feel this man has the intelligence, the tenacity, the utter balls, to put it bluntly, to make a great president. I think he's a joke.. I agree with you, Republicans should not have taken over the house the way they did on this last election. They hate Obama. They've made it abundently clear. I'm on his side.. I wish he would use his powers as the most powerful man in the free world to try override this behavior we have had to endure from the sore loser Republicans.. It's hard for me to relate to Republicans because as you stated and many other people stated. Republicans are for the corporations, by the corporations. Democrats are for the people, by the people.. Why don't people understand that?? If that man becomes president.. God only knows the shape this country is going to be in.. a huge, huge mess..

Thanks Barbra

I truly enjoy reading your political stances and I'm glad that you keep us alert on what's really happening...

Barbra,

I wish you had a comment box about Mitt Romney and the article in "Vanity Fair". I love that magazine because the articles are pretty much right on the money. I never trusted that man and you're right. He doesn't seem to be very forthright about all the money he made. He made a recent appearance in Las Vegas and I wanted to go as I was visiting a friend there..They are Republicans, I am not to say the least. Your speech "Artist as Citizen" at Harvard was amazing. I have a big family from my fathers side that live in Boston. They're all staunch Democrats. They don't like Republicans and my uncles made so much fun of George Bush, Jr., I have to say, and I know it's awful, but it was hilarious... anyway, the point I'm getting at is why were all the other candidates that were extremely wealthy so willing to come forward their tax records from past elections. We have John Kerry who is married to an Heiress.. probably billions there..There was never an issue with him. I heard what Mitt was saying here in one of the worst areas of Vegas where the crime is exceptionally high.. It was in North Las Vegas. He said pure baloney. I don't believe in any of the five things he's stating he's going to promise. If he so much as thinks of appointing any new Supreme Court justices that would overturn Roe v Wade..if he takes a woman's right to choose away, strike 3, that going with his reluctance pure lies about Obama. I knew Obama was going to get blamed for the lousy economic strife we suffered in 2008 and still, but it has improved. Bush left us with a mess. These people don't seem to understand you hand over a government that is in the mess that Bush left us from the 8 preceding years, who gets blamed. He gets sworn in office and people want to start to blame, blame, blame. I say give him another 4 years and I'm sure he's got great plans underway. Romney is a fake. He has not a clue as to what the average American is going through economically, financially, job-wise..with the cut backs. He doesn't need to. He has too many maids, butlers and the extremely wealthy on his side.. He doesn't get it. He's the worst choice and the baloney promises he's making is making majority of America sick. He made $20 million last year.. oh the poor guy. I feel so badly for him. Why couldn't he have taken over what his fathers values were. He's a selfish person. He wants to cut taxes for all of his friends.. as he would think.. It's disgusting.. I seriously don't feel this man has the intelligence, the tenacity, the utter balls, to put it bluntly, to make a great president. I think he's a joke.. I agree with you, Republicans should not have taken over the house the way they did on this last election. They hate Obama. They've made it abundently clear. I'm on his side.. I wish he would use his powers as the most powerful man in the free world to try override this behavior we have had to endure from the sore loser Republicans.. It's hard for me to relate to Republicans because as you stated and many other people stated. Republicans are for the corporations, by the corporations. Democrats are for the people, by the people.. Why don't people understand that?? If that man becomes president.. God only knows the shape this country is going to be in.. a huge, huge mess..

Thanks Barbra

I truly enjoy reading your political stances and I'm glad that you keep us alert on what's really happening...

When I read he had passed away today in the news I was so saddened and shocked. I know you two have been life long friends. He made such incredibly beautiful music, always had such a great smile on his face and truly loved working with you. I watched The Directors when they interviewed you and they also interviewed Marvin. He was telling anyone who was going to be hired for this particular job, any that may have been with you, don't expect the usual, don't expect there to be many lunches and breaks because if you can't handle long hours and many changes, you're not cut out for this. He said but for those of you who choose to stay on, it's going to be an experience and it's going to be a hard one, but you'll leave feeling so exhilarated and this will truly be one of the most incredible experiences of your life... Agreed. We all know you strive for excellence and you show it in everything you do. That's why I've been a life long fan.. I feel awful hearing about him and I hope they know up there that an angel that's about to change their lives is about to be in the heavens.. He'll always be there with you..The presence is much too strong and the strong bond you had as collaborators in the most important aspects of your life going from Funny Girl to Vegas and so forth.. He knew you so well and what an incredible talent the both of you are and were.... We shall all miss him and he being a personal friend of yours is what I feel so badly about.. How we lose people so quickly in this world and it's sad. He was only 68 years old and by today's standards, that's very young to leave this earth because he had so much to give..my condolences to all who are, were, close to him. I think the world became sadder today just hearing about this....

What you wrote was just beautiful.. and I'm truly sorry for your loss Barbra.
Christina, New York

Barbra I never met Marvin but felt like he was a friend to me because of his music. I am so sad at his loss and as soon as I heard my thoughts turned to his family and to you. The entertainment industry has lost a genious today and you have lost a good friend. I would just like to offer my condolences to you and I know you will truly miss him. My best wishes to you Julie from Australia.

Dear Barbra,

I'm sure this is a very difficult day for you and I share in your sympathy for your dear friend Marvin Hamlisch. This has not been an easy summer for you with the loss of your friends Donna Summer and Robin Gibb also. I wish there was something that I could say or do that would make this all go away for you, but in life, we have to be prepared for the loss of our friends. Although that doesn't make any of this any easier, please know that you have many, many friends and fans that understand how you are feeling and are there for you. The passing of our friends is always unexpected and unpleasant, but hopefully makes us stronger and helps us to keep their legacy alive. If there is anyone that can do that for all of us, it is you. You will always be associated with Marvin Hamlisch, it can't and doesn't get any better than that.

Again Barbra, I am truly sorry for your loss. I'm sure the memories are numerous and very special to you. How blessed you are to have shared this earth with such a wonderful and talented man that you called friend. Peace today and always, and thank you for being such an amazing friend to Marvin and all of us.

Yours very truly.

John T. Borek

i didnt know marvin, but i did have friends who did know him, and all i ever heard was what a nice, and good friend he was. i do know his music, and my favorite was disneyland from the broadway play smile. he broke my heart with that song, and although i didnt know him, he broke my musical heart with his passing. i'm so very sorry for the loss of your friend, and i'm grateful for all the wonderful music he left behind through you and so many others.