Remembering Marvin Hamlisch with a performance of his work by Gilda Radner

You have probably heard by now that composer and EGOT -- that's a winner of the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards -- Marvin Hamlisch has passed away at the age of 68 following a "sudden, brief illness." He worked for stage and screen, composing scores for movies including The Spy Who Loved Me and Sophie's Choice, and songs for shows like A Chorus Line and The Goodbye Girl. Most recently, he worked on the score for the Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra. But for many people, he made a huge impression with The Way We Were, which starred Barbra "Katie" Streisand and Robert "Hubble" Redford and was about "an outspoken Jewish girl with a big nose who goes to Hollywood with her beautiful blond husband and gets disgusted." At least that's how Gilda Radner told it when she performed "The Way We Were" in her show, Gilda Live. And I think it's a sweet way to remember a man who wrote songs that could bring a deeply romantic geek to tears. (via YouTube)


  1. Poor Gilda, such an amazing talent and she died so young. And poor Gene, he finds the perfect woman, the love of his life, and then… ach.

      1. Actually, if you read Gene Wilder’s autobiography, he is surprisingly harsh toward Gilda. I don’t think he really saw her as “the love of his life.” I think other people felt like they seemed so right for each other. I have to say, I was disappointed by how he described their relationship. I was one of those people who liked to think of them as perfect for each other, but it seemed like from his book that he is more of a jerk than I would like to believe and she was more neurotic.

          1. It’s an interesting read. If you check out the comments on Amazon, you’ll see that a lot of people reacted to it, as I did, with surprise. He is not as warm and fuzzy as the characters he plays. I found it interesting to learn more about him as a person, and admired that he did try to reveal himself “warts and all.” I guess it’s easy to confuse a person with the characters they play; it was a smack in the face to realize that he was just acting all along.

  2. After reading about Marvin Hamlisch’s passing earlier today I sang this song a little to myself.  I was also having a hard time placing where I had heard his name in film, tv or stage show.  This is what I was thinking of.  Thank you for posting this. Two brilliant minds in one video.

  3. Please pardon me for posting twice in the same week about my grandfather, Groucho Marx, but most people don’t know that very early in his career, Marvin Hamlisch was my grandfather’s accompanist when he did several one-man shows during the early ’70s, including one at Carnegie Hall.  Marvin would come to the house and rehearse with my grandfather and it was a thrill to hear the two of them working together.  When Marvin’s career took and he got too busy to play piano for my grandfather, I was called in as replacement and got to accompany him numerous times.  He even used to sing a song written by my other grandfather, the legendary songwriter Gus Kahn, and his wife, Grace Kahn, called, “Oh, How That Woman Could Cook,” which he performed at Carnegie Hall.

    1. Don’t apologize for actually having awesome experiences to share. You’re grandfather was great, and this memory you shared is great as well.

  4. I played upright bass in a band backing Marvin Hamlisch for one night. I won’t comment on him as a person, but I’ll say he didn’t like me very much.

  5. Hamlisch took part in a Gilda’s Club event to raise money for a cancer hospice in Toronto (and elsewhere – the event took place in Toronto). He played and sang a segue into Radner’s version of The Way We Were, managing to take something funny and making it deeply moving. He always struck me as a guy who got the joke.

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