West Side Story Lyricist Stephen Sondheim Dead at 91

Stephen Sondheim, an iconic musical theater lyricist and composer, reportedly died on Friday, Nov. 26 after celebrating Thanksgiving with friends. Stars paid tribute to the legend on social media.

By Samantha Schnurr Nov 26, 2021 10:46 PMTags
Watch: In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2022

Broadway has lost a legend. 

Stephen Sondheim, the acclaimed composer and lyricist, has died, his lawyer F. Richard Pappas confirmed, according to The New York Times. Sondheim reportedly died at his Connecticut home on Friday, Nov. 26 after celebrating Thanksgiving with friends a day earlier. The musical theater legend was 91 years old. 

An icon in the theater world, Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for beloved shows such as Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd and authored the lyrics for the likes of Gypsy and West Side Story, which Steven Spielberg has adapted into a new film due out in December.

For his life's work, Sondheim amassed eight Tony Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, as well as eight Grammy Awards and an Oscar for Best Original Song. "I never thought very highly of awards," he said during his 1971 Tony Award acceptance speech, "but I must say it's awfully nice to win one."

Celebrity Deaths: 2021's Fallen Stars

Amid the news of his death, stars have taken to social media to honor Sondheim and his legacy. 

"I am at a loss," Ariana DeBose, who will star as Anita in Spielberg's West Side Story, tweeted. "Feels like the end of an era. He did indeed set the standard for the American musical. Rest well, sir. #StephenSondheim."

Michael Hardy/Express/Getty Images

Actor Josh Gad tweeted, "Perhaps not since April 23rd of 1616 has theater lost such a revolutionary voice. Thank you Mr. Sondheim for your Demon Barber, some Night Music, a Sunday in the Park, Company, fun at a Forum, a trip Into the Woods and telling us a West Side Story. RIP."

Tony Award winner Lea Salonga wrote, "Rest In Peace, Stephen Sondheim, and thank you for your vast contributions to musical theater. We shall be singing your songs forever. Oh, my heart hurts…"

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