On Friday, the world of American musical theater and entertainment itself lost a legend with the passing of iconic writer and composer Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim, whose passing was confirmed by an announcement from his lawyer and friend F. Richard Pappas, was 91. Widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in 20th-century musical theater, Sondheim composed music and lyrics for such well-known and beloved productions as Company, Sunday in the Park with George, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, and West Side Story. A beloved figure even beyond the world of musical theater, Sondheim's passing is being mourned by millions worldwide with many celebrities also paying tribute to him on social media as well.
Soon after news of Sondheim's passing broke, celebrities from every corner of entertainment began sharing their memories as well as their experiences with him. For some, the tributes were personal anecdotes about having worked with or met Sondheim while others simply shared the impact his work had on not only their lives but on the lives of others as well.
Born in 1930, Sondheim had a lifelong love of musical theater, beginning after seeing a production of Very Warm of May at the age of nine. He soon after became friends with James Hammerstein, son of iconic playwright and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, the latter of which became his mentor. Sondheim himself would go on to serve as a mentor of sorts for Rent creator Jonathan Larson as well as Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Read on for how celebrities are remembering Sondheim.
Our thoughts are with Sondheim's family, friends, and fans at this time.
Future historians: Stephen Sondheim was real. Yes, he wrote Tony & Maria AND Sweeney Todd AND Bobby AND George & Dot AND Fosca AND countless more. Some may theorize Shakespeare's works were by committee but Steve was real & he was here & he laughed SO loud at shows & we loved him— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 27, 2021
“Sometimes people leave you… halfway through the wood…” Thank you #StephenSondheim. Our hearts are broken but because of you, your work, your generosity, and your genius, we know that No One is Alone. pic.twitter.com/cdX3KS8831— Katherine McNamara (@Kat_McNamara) November 27, 2021
Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics! May he Rest In Peace🥲🎵 🎶🎵 pic.twitter.com/vshNSdkvpQ— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) November 26, 2021
Here's the letter Stephen Sondheim wrote to me accepting our offer to cameo on The Simpsons. It's been in a strong box under my bed since 2006. pic.twitter.com/fh4MIKvZ1u— Michael Price (@mikepriceinla) November 27, 2021
He wrote me a wonderful permission letter to use “Old Friends” in American Gods. I avoided meeting him (failed only once) and refused dinner because I didn’t have many heroes. Now I’ve got one less. Thank you Stephen Sondheim so much. pic.twitter.com/soRo4G2ZFU— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 26, 2021
Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest. pic.twitter.com/4KlnJJJipq— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) November 26, 2021
I was just talking to someone a few nights ago about how much fun (and fucking difficult) it is to sing Stephen Sondheim. Performing his work has been among the greatest privileges of my career. A devastating loss.— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) November 26, 2021
I am so so sad to lose my friend Steve Sondheim He gave me so much to sing about ♥️♥️I loved him dearly and will miss him so much Thank you for all the gifts you gave the world Steve♥️— Bernadette Peters (@OfficialBPeters) November 26, 2021
Just about 1h ago I was singing “Being Alive”, the final musical number of #COMPANY in our production here in Spain.— Antonio Banderas (@antoniobanderas) November 26, 2021
Now I am in home, still with rests of make up on my face crying the death of our maestro. One of the huge legends of musical theatre. A giant. May he RIP #Sondheim pic.twitter.com/7EbDszL0NB
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. 🙏 https://t.co/jHX7ob9JWv— Josh Gad (@joshgad) November 26, 2021