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Marvin Hamlisch was an ETOG.

He was one of only eleven people in the vaunted history of awards-giving to have received an Emmy, Tony, Oscar, and Grammy. The popular composer didn't stop there. Hamlisch also took home a Pulitzer and a couple of prized Golden Globe doorstops.

Marvin Frederick Hamlisch collapsed after a brief illness and died on Monday. He was 68.

Hamlisch held the position of principal pops conductor for the San Diego Symphony and was a frequent guest in our town. We met briefly at Sam Goody where Mr. Tact scored yet another opportunity to place both feet in his mouth. We shook hands and I thanked him for his work on two Woody Allen films, Take the Money and Run and Bananas.

"I appreciate that," came his reply, "but haven't you liked anything I've written since 1971?"

Guilty as charged.

"Stop the elevator, I want to get off" was my general response whenever the theme from The Way We Were came on, turning a ten-story ascent into a caged hell. How many ice cream truck tires did I want to shoot out for cannibalizing Hamlisch's cannibalization of Scott Joplin's piano rags for The Sting? His score for The Informant! could be the most singularly unsensational aspect of any Steven Soderbergh film.

There's one more Hamlisch score left to go. He was working on the musical adaptation of Jerry Lewis' The Nutty Professor at the time of his death.

Let's close with another personal Hamlisch favorite, his first hit released when he was 21.

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Comments

John71471 Aug. 7, 2012 @ 12:58 p.m.

He has been around for a long time. I had no idea he was so young. RIP.

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Colonna Aug. 7, 2012 @ 2:25 p.m.

Let us not forget that Mr. Hamlisch was the accompanist on the college circuit and eventually Carnegie Hall for the one, the only Groucho in the early 1970s.

Hamlisch told the story many times: he opened at Carnegie Hall with the Beethoven Waldstein sonata ("Know it? I wrote it!") in which he altered the music ever so slightly in honor of Groucho. Click on the video to hear it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OSOl3ykv50

Memoriessssss... too soon.

Rest in peace, Marvin.

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