Harold Prince, who is best known for directing and producing popular Broadway musicals such as West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Fiddler on the Roof, Phantom of the Opera, and Cabaret, has passed away.
Prince died today at the age of 91 after suffering from an illness. He passed away in Reykjavik, Iceland, leaving behind an incredible legacy that has enriched millions of theatergoers.
“He is missed and loved by his family — Judy, his wife of 56 years; his daughter, Daisy; his son, Charles; and his grandchildren, Phoebe, Lucy and Felix,” his rep said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
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“As per his wishes, there will be no funeral but there will be a celebration of his life this fall with the people he loved most, the members of the theatrical community that he was a part of for seven decades.”
He was born in Manhatten, attended the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated when he was 19-years-old, and served two years with the United States Army in post-World War II Germany. He started his career as an assistant stage manager to theatrical producer and director George Abbott.
Prince’s incredible theater career took off in the ‘50s and ‘60s producing shows such as Damn Yankees, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
His productions earned 16 Best Musical Tony nominations, winning eight of them. In fact, Prince himself snagged 21 Tony Awards over the course of his six-decade career, more than anyone else has accomplished.
He chose to focus on directing, which interested him more, on shows such as Sweeney Todd, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera over the course of his career, as well as many others. Prince also inspired John Lithgow’s character in Bob Fosse’s film All That Jazz.
He was also honored at the 2006 Tonys with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Our thoughts and prayers are with Prince’s family, friends, and all theatergoers who admired his works during this sad time.