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Marvin Hamlisch Funeral: Bill Clinton, Liza Minnelli, Richard Gere and Many Others Mourn Broadway Composer

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Marvin Hamlisch
Marvin Hamlisch David Livingston/Getty Images

Marvin Hamlisch was one of a kind—and that's the way his friends and family remembered him.

The legendary composer's funeral was held today in New York City, and judging by the celebs in attendance—including President Bill Clinton, Liza Minnelli, Richard Gere, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret, Tony Danza, Diane Sawyer and her director husband Mike Nichols—it was one heck of a sendoff.

Hamlisch passed away on Aug. 6 in Los Angeles after a brief illness. He was 68.

Marvin Hamlisch, composer of A Chorus Line and The Way We Were, dies at 68

Per Showbiz411, among other Broadway luminaries who paid their last respects at the service held at the Upper East Side's Temple Emanuel were Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelly Bishop and Priscilla Lopez, stars of A Chorus Line, and Idina Menzel, who sang a moving rendition of "At the Ballet" from the Great White Way's second longest-running musical.

Taking to the podium to speak before the music icon's mahogany casket were Clinton, who hailed Hamlisch as a "great, giving genius," as well as several friends and Hamlisch's wife of 26 years, Terre. President Barack Obama and former first lady Nancy Reagan both sent written tributes that were read before the congregation.

The emotional service got underway with a 300-person chorus singing the title song from the 1973 romantic drama, The Way We Were and ending the funeral with "What I Did For Love."

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Before and after, an organist ran through many of Marvin's hits from his amazing four-decade career, including an instrumental version of "Nobody Does It Better," the theme song for the 1977 James Bond adventure, The Spy Who Loved Me, for which Hamlisch wrote the score.

Other celebrity mourners included actor Alan Alda, Regis and Joy Philbin, his old co-host Kathie Lee with her husband Frank Gifford, and MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews. Notably absent were Hamlisch's longtime friend and collaborator Barbra Streisand; Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman, co-lyricists for many of Hamlisch's productions with whom he shared numerous awards; and singer-songwriter Carly Simon.

However, many of the absentees made up for it by sending huge floral arrangements.

While Hamlisch's health had been deteriorating for some time, he still kept working. For one of his last projects, he teamed up with Jerry Lewis to write a musical version of The Nutty Professor, which debuted in Nashville. And this week, his wife said he would've been announced as the principal conductor of the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra.

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