June 2nd. Happy Birthday Marvin! — Terre Blair — Hamlisch: I love you Marvin, forever and after that.

Marvin taught me how to live life with gusto and magic.  He would order every dessert on the menu, so everyone could taste everything and miss nothing in life. His friend Lily gave him a luncheon in France and it was a luncheon that was only desserts. . He dug into those desserts like he did life: with fearless abandon and unbridled joy and enthusiasm; his life force was huge.

Happy Birthday Marvin! — Terre Blair remembers Marvin — Aug 2012, Temple Emanu-el:

Marvin Hamlisch and Terre Blair

Marvin Hamlisch and Terre Blair

Thank you Mr. President (Clinton) for your kind words (and I just heard from Hillary as well  – please thank her). I’ll like to point out something first about today’s choir: It’s no ordinary choir. What started out as a small, simple choir, grew by the day. And formed by already invited guests  and musical colleagues . His peers have chosen to sing in this choir to honor Marvin. It’s filled with renowned composers, it has singers like Lucie Arnaz, it has stellar orchestrators like Jonathan Tunick, and brilliant lyricists like Sheldon Harnick and Rupert Holmes. Marvin would be so pleased to be honored by his esteemed peers in this way. Thank you Judy Clurman, for this amazing gift. My name is Terre Blair Hamlisch. In the last several days, as in the last 23 years,  I have learned just how right Marvin Hamlisch was in so much. In our home, when I admitted he was right about something, he will affectionately and jokingly say: “Could you say that louder, please?”

When he left to score the movie “Liberace” (HBO “Behind the Candelabra”) he said: “I know my talents. And it’s not that I think I am irreplaceable, but I do sort of have an experience and a voice to add to this project that is unique.”

Well Marvin, you were wrong: YOU ARE NOT REPLACEABLE! – and the world is saying it loudly now. You were a genius, a giant in your field and as a human being. Quoting your friend Michael Keller:

The world is dimmer and a lot less funny without you.”

There is a poverty of adjectives in expressing our sorrow for the loss of Marvin Hamlisch. There is only ONE Marvin Hamlisch in the world.

Marvin taught me how to live life with gusto and magic.  He would order every dessert on the menu, so everyone could taste everything and miss nothing in life. His friend Lily gave him a luncheon in France and it was a luncheon that was only desserts. He dug into those desserts like he did life: with fearless abandon and unbridled joy and enthusiasm; his life force was huge.

June 2nd  MH desert pso

Desserts — Remembering Marvin Hamlisch (1944–2012) — During visit with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh, PA. -

I on the other hand am more cautions by nature. He took my hand and he led me into his world of magic, where even the mundane became electrified with his humor, joy, laughter and brilliant insight. I remember when I would become totally confounded over an idea or behavior of his, and my good friend Jay Stein at the time would say calmly: “Terre, you married a real bonafide genius, not a salesman; it’s a different skills set. (laughs). And he would quietly list the characteristics of “genius” to help me understand: The childlike enthusiasm, the rarefied creativity, and of course, the quick brilliant mind. Marvin was the most loyal and supportive friend imaginable.  I don’t know people like this. If I was sad or discouraged or had one of life’s curve balls hit me, Marvin would jump on top of the bed, -much before I would prefer to wake up – mind you, and perform and entire musical complete with lyrics and choreography and the dancing chorus, playing all the parts himself to the disbelief of myself and our dogs. But he always got me to laugh my way out of it.  Marvin did the same for his close friend Liza.  – Liza he loves you so!

Michael Feinstein and Liza Minnelli perform 'If You Really Knew Me' at Tuesday's memorial.

Liza Minnelli — Juilliard School memorial for Marvin Hamlisch — Sept 2012.

When they were young, on subways, going to auditions, he would belt out in song to Liza: “You’ll be swell! You’ll be great!” from Gypsy, to cheer her up. Marvin generosity was unparalleled like anyone I have ever met or seen. If your child needed a doctor, he was there to help. He performed for families for terminally ill members, friends,  and the elderly  lady next door.  Marvin worked to keep arts in impoverished school systems regardless the need. He always said to me: “ I wonder if anyone realizes I never say no.”

He never said no, he was there and he kept giving. And this is important. He never told people all that he did. He did not brag. He did not boast. He was down to earth and never thought he was better than anyone else. Even at Campbell’s funeral home these stories that people told me in the last days, where it was his premiere and a man was choking and he got up first an made sure he was okay. As a human being his character was beyond great: he mentored thousands and thousands of young people and never boasted, and never bragged. So so much that no one ever knew. That was true humility. Humility is such an interesting quality to have in this world today, and often overlooked, misinterpreted and under appreciated; but a quality of a giant character. Marvin lived by his mother’s ‘Bambi’ rule. When I would fly off about someone’s petty injustice he would quote: “if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.” He lived by that and saw the best in everyone. He had deep, wide compassion and understanding for their behavior and tons of forgiveness and love. Marvin loved deeply, was sensitive,  and passionate. His passion for music, especially for the theatre was who he was. But he also had a boundless love and passion for his beloved Yankees and for his dear close friend Joe Torre.

Remembering Marvin Hamlisch - Yankee Stadium 9-20-2012. Game: Yankees-Blue Jays

Remembering Marvin Hamlisch — Yankee Stadium 9-20-2012. Game: Yankees-Blue Jays

Terre and Torre 9-20-2012

He used to have the Yankees score whispered to him by someone strolling down stage right as he was performing. That’s until he found this gizmo he bought that he could put on the conductor’s stand. I thought I always sensed a bit more enthusiastic movement in “Rhapsody” if the Yankees were winning, but maybe that was just me. Marvin said “Music is the universal language that brings people together.” After receiving thousands and thousands of e-mails from Japan, Australia, Italy, England, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, Korea, Germany, Austria, Israel and more, I know that what he believed and said  was not idle rhetoric. The world is mourning the loss of Marvin Hamlisch.  When I was a student at S.I.T. (School for International Training), my fellow students were from the worst war torn countries: Afghanistan, Sudan, Darfur, Iraq, and do you know what Marvin did? He hired buses and he bused all of my friends to see the musical “Fela!”  He was always doing something for someone else.

As the genius process goes, sometimes he would write things that some people did not get right away. And he’d say: It’s Okay Terre, I will be known as the “people’s composer,” because I will make music accessible to lots and lots of people and give them joy.

Marvin saved cultural institutions; his leadership vision and contagious personality and enthusiasm from the stage transformed symphonies. Symphonies that were in very difficult financial circumstances. And audiences adored him. He increased the Pasadena Symphony pre-sales 200%  and had unprecedented sales. He saved cultural institutions therefore continuing culture in our country. I liked the card on the Pasadena symphony’s flowers. It Said: “Marvin was genius with genuine.” It was just to be announced this week that he would be the Philadelphia Orchestra Musical Director Pops. He had so many things he was looking forward to. His friend Jay Epstein says he was the Steve Jobs of his industry. He started early and ended early. But he changed lives. Marvin had this quote hanging in front of his desk which he looked at every day. It’s a quote from H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama; it says: “ The true meaning of life: we are visitors on this planet. We are here for 90 or 100 years to the most. During that period, we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. If you contribute to other people’s happiness  you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.”   YOU DID THAT HONEY! You were so much greater than you ever thought. How fortunate we are all that in our time that you came our way.   How incredible lucky and grateful and honored  and humbled I was to share 23 years with you.  Thank you from the depths of my heart. I love you Marvin and I always will. Just like it said on our wedding napkins:

Forever and after that”

Thank you…Thank you from all of us. — Terre Blair Hamlisch.

Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch - A Celebration of Life

Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch — A Celebration of Life

A six hundred voice choir, formed by Family, Colleagues and friends, sings THE WAY WE WERE:

Choir sings The Way We Were Vid


President Bill Clinton: “Marvin Hamlisch was a goodhearted, humble and hilarious genius”




  1. I first met Marvin in the early 1970’s. He had composed music for a new Cola Cola presentation. He dashed to the piano and started playing the score. At that moment, I realized what a greatly talented and unusual person Marvin was. Sometimes we forget that Marvin was a brilliant pianist. Many years later I was associated with Marvin on “A Chorus Line”. Here I had the chance to work with Marvin on creating how his songs would be performed. I enjoyed writing the vocal arrangements, and he was very vocal in his appreciation. I miss him, and yet he seems always to be present through the magic of his music.
    Don Pippin

  2. Thank you Terre in particular and Ravinia Festival (Highland Park, IL) and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in general for the fantastic Tribute Concert last night dedicated to Marvin Hamlisch.
    The music was obviously amazing but, the tribute in video and words, by some of his most esteemed friends gave me a much greater understanding of the man himself. As great as his genius and contributions were to Music, Broadway and Hollywood, what I didn’t know was that he was an amazing human being first and foremost. His love for Terre, his friends and colleagues and his family were limitless. I learned that his generosity, kindness, loyalty, integrity and indomitable spirit were beyond tremendous. I I felt both joy and tears throughout the whole program. Thank you for an evening that I will never forget.

  3. Thinking about,listening to, and praying to or for Marvin is part of my daily routine. Often when I sing, I can imagine Marvin accompanying me. I look forward to going to Columbus,OH this spring to see the exhibit. With love,Judith.

  4. Marvin was such a special friend to me. We knew each other for almost 40 years. What a wonderful friend he was. He truly was a SINGULAR SENSATION! I miss him. He will always live on through his genius and his music!

  5. Marvin,

    I wish I’d known you. I sincerely love you.
    Thank you for the music, most of all for your genius, joy and your huge heart.
    Heaven is so lucky to have you. Have fun swingin’ it up there with Judy and all the other angels.

    Watching this show I feel so encouraged to nourish my own songwriting. SO, IAM WONDERING.….WILL YOU BE MY MUSE? Or couldja just keep an eye on me, give me some nudges in the right direction?

    Martha Magee

  6. I too am filled with a love of life and fortunate to be married to a wonderful Terry (with a y!).I am not a fan of Broadway but was captivated and thrilled by Marvin’s life and his music. I just watched a PBS special and had to look him up. Please allow me to add my voice to the chorus blessing the day Marvin came among us and thanking him for his many gifts. Carlos

  7. As a former News Anchor at WTVN myself, I sense a sort of subliminal connection to this great musician. Especially having enjoyed his genius as a musician myself. His loss is a loss, not only to the world, but certainly to the world of music itself.

  8. Somehow, each year, Marvin and I spent at least one of our birthdays together in Pittsburgh. Marvin just loved splurging and celebrating so much. I especially remember his 60th birthday “celebration week” in Pittsburgh. I miss you, Marvin, It’s not the same down here without you.

  9. Last year I sent Marvin an email to wish him Happy Birthday and he replied twice thanking me for remembering him. His beautiful giving nature we will miss always.
    Today I lighted a candle in his memory.I know Marvin is always with us in his incredible music and his magnificent star shines on
    I send another message tonight .….
    Dear Marvin ,
    Happy Birthday and thank you for gracing this world with your music and love.

  10. Happy Birthday Marvin! I would have made you a piano cake… Love Nancy

  11. Happy Birthday to my amazing Uncle Marvin! I miss him so much everyday! He was and still is an amazing guy always giving and making people laugh. Spending time with my uncle was the best thing ever. It never mattered what we were doing as long as we were together the day was amazing! I love you Uncle Marvin! Happy Birthday! Love your Niece Cassie3

  12. My dear Marvin,
    Thinking of you on your birthday and always…missing you every day, but especially today, on your birthday. We will be celebrating you tomorrow night, but your legacy reminds us every day of your amazing and unique genius. You are the best!

  13. I would like to think that somewhere a Chorus Line of angels is celebrating Marvin’s birthday with one of the most beautiful and fun celebrations ever. One Singular Sensation…with laughter…love…and beautiful music…all orchestrated by Marvin in a way only Marvin could.

    The whole world is celebrating Marvin today…and will continue to celebrate him forever…and after that…every time someone hears, feels and experiences one of the countless melodies he left to inspire us…move us…entertain us…make us dance, laugh, cry and sing out loud. To simply make our world a happier and more beautiful place.

    Happy Birthday Marvin! And…THANK YOU for the music and the memories.

    • Marvin, I came here to say Happy Birthday to you and was at once stuck by Tom’s words about you and the angels in Heaven as I was thinking the same thing. I pictured your first Birthday in Heaven as a celebration like none before–and Composed, Arranged, Produced and Conducted by you! What a day indeed!

      I miss you more than words can say my dear friend, and I’m so thankful for all the incredible memories–and saddened that your stay here is over. With all that you have left us you’re not that far away–and your spirit still lights up the world.

      I love you forever,