Film:  Marvin Hamlisch: What He did For Love:


Watch Trailer:

PBS’s MARVIN HAMLISCH: WHAT HE DID FOR LOVE  Premiered 12/27 —  THIRTEENs American Masters Series and Dramatic Forces Co-Produce First Film Biography of Composer-Conductor Marvin Hamlisch — Featuring Exclusive Access to His Personal Archives

Season 27 Finale Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love Premiered Nationally Friday, December 27, 2013 on PBS

American Masters - MH Dec 27

Tony-winner Dori Berinstein’s documentary features new interviews with family, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Steven Soderbergh, Quincy Jones, Christopher Walken, Sir Tim Rice, Joe Torre, Woody Allen, John Lithgow, Lucie Arnaz, Ann-Margret, and others.

Barbra Streisand sings The Way We Were and salutes Marvin Hamlisch at the 85th Academy Awards

Barbra Streisand sings The Way We Were and salutes Marvin Hamlisch
at the 85th Academy Awards

Composer, conductor, genius, mensch: Marvin Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 — Aug. 6, 2012) earned four Grammys, four Emmys, three Oscars, three Golden Globes, a Tony Award, and a Pulitzer Prize before his untimely death, making him one of only two PEGOT winners ever. Hit after hit — “The Way We Were,” “Nobody Does It Better” and scores for The Sting, Sophie’s Choice and the Broadway juggernaut A Chorus Line Terre and Torre 9-20-2012made him the go-to composer and performer for film, Broadway, every U.S. President since Reagan, and concert halls worldwide. With exclusive access to Hamlisch’s personal archival treasure trove and complete cooperation from his family, Dramatic Forces and THIRTEEN’s American Masters explores his prolific life and career in the series’ Season 27 finale Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love.

In the first film biography about Hamlisch, award-winning filmmaker and

Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, Terre Blair Hamlisch, and actor John Lithgow attend 'The Paley Center For Media Presents: The Music And Life Of Marvin Hamlisch' at Paley Center For Media on March 18, 2013 in New York City. (Source: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images North America)

Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, Terre Blair Hamlisch, and actor John Lithgow attend ‘The Paley Center For Media Presents: The Music And Life Of Marvin Hamlisch’ at Paley Center For Media on March 18, 2013 in New York City. (Source: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images North America)

four-time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Dori Berinstein (Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, Show Business: The Road To Broadway) presents a deeply personal, insider portrait of one of the greatest artists of our time. Candid new interviews with Hamlisch’s family, friends and A-list collaborators include wife Terre Blair Hamlisch, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Steven Soderbergh, Quincy Jones, Christopher Walken, Sir Tim Rice, Joe Torre, Woody Allen, John Lithgow, Lucie Arnaz, Ann-Margret, Sir Howard Stringer, Kelli O’Hara, Brian D’Arcy James, Idina Menzel, Melissa Manchester, songwriter Carole Bayer Sager, and many others.

Marvin Hamlisch was a consummate artist: gifted, creative, and personable. His music is part of the essential soundtrack to so many of our lives”  -Susan Lacy, creator and executive producer of American Masters.

Director Dori Berinstein, who was friends with Hamlisch and collaborated with him on a new Broadway musical before his death is working to finish the musical, which will feature his final score.

Marvin’s astounding musical genius was certainly breathtaking, but it was his irrepressible joy for life and his unending generosity that constantly had me in awe. What a tremendous honor and challenge to Capture the magic of this singular sensation,” -Dori Berinstein

A musical prodigy accepted to Juilliard at age six, Hamlisch defied classical expectations to create his own music, dedicating his talents

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel

to musical theatre and pop music composition. By age 31, he achieved unprecedented success and honors with a string of SMASH hits, and then his streak ended. Faced with overwhelming pressure and sky-high expectations to repeat his hits, Hamlisch fell into a self-described “period of suffocating despair,” before rebounding to find true love worthy of a Broadway musical and renewed passion for creation. American Masters Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love reveals the events that led to both his staggering success and, ultimately, his even greater humanity: his creative process, struggles, inner turmoil, and breakthroughs.

Since its 1986 premiere, American Masters has earned 24 Emmy Awards — including eight for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, and two Producers Guild Awards. Now concluding its 27th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations, and operator of NJTV. For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.

To take American Masters beyond the television broadcast and further explore the themes, stories and personalities of masters past and present, the companion website PBS American Masters offers streaming video of select films, interviews, essays, photographs, outtakes, and other resources. American Masters is also seen on the WORLD channel, a 24/7, full service multicast channel featuring public television’s signature nonfiction documentary, science and news programming, broadcast in nearly two-thirds of the United States.

PBS American Masters

American Masters Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love is a production of Dramatic Forces and THIRTEEN’s American Masters in association with WNET. Dori Berinstein is director, producer, and writer. Alan Deutsch and Jimmy O’Donnell are directors of photography. Penelope Falk is editor. Andrew Herwitz is executive producer. Susan Lacy is American Masters series creator and executive producer.

American Masters is a production of THIRTEEN. The series is made possible by the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for American Masters is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, Anne Ray Charitable Trust, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers.

About WNET:

In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.

Related content:

Source: Team Marvin Hamlisch / The Music of Marvin Hamlisch



  1. My wife and I just watched the PBS documentary “Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love” and it was a lovely tribute to a great American composer.

    This is for Terre: the story of how you both met had us both in tears and smiling. It’s a beautiful story and truly fairy-tale-like (for lack of a better word!).

    My wife worked with Marvin in the Pasadena Pops for his entire tenure there and I attended nearly every concert. And Marvin has been a big hero and musical father to me from a young age. My one regret is never having met him!

    Thank you for creating such a lovely documentary honoring this creative, generous and funny musical soul!

  2. What a privilege to watch last night American Masters PBS program on Marvin Hamlisch. I grew up enthralled and enriched by his music but knew nothing about the incredible human being he was. Gracias, American Masters/PBS.

  3. Dear PBS, I was one of those kids sitting in the audience of the Pittsburgh Pops, and Marvin Hamlisch has had a great influence on both my life and career. Thank you so much for your “American Masters” special!

  4. Excellent presentation of a great person and career; I especially enjoyed Kevin Cole’s piano playing at the beginning and his comments along with all the luminaries quoted in the film.

  5. I got to see Mr Hamlisch in May 2001 at Bass Hall in Fort Worth — he was so wonderful — one of my top ten favourite concerts/shows ever! What a fabulous entertainer

  6. There are those who come into this world for but a brief moment but touch so many… I watched the bio pic and realized — so sadly — how much we have of his musical genius and that no more will be forthcomming from this marvelous man.

  7. Such a moving and joyous portrait of a man whose influence on music, in film, and in theatre is immeasurable. This moving portrait of his talent and sense of humor is inspiring. Very well done.

  8. It was a wonderful program with insight on the versatility of a great talent, gone way to soon. His array of followers and friends in and behind the scenes was quite interesting. He could relate to anyone at anytime.

  9. A beautiful tribute to a true American Master. I only hope that someone in the Performing Arts recognizes the importance of carrying on his legacy.

  10. Splendid documentary covering the amazing life of a genuinely gifted man. Hamlisch’s life is presented as a fascinating unfolding with interviews from celebs, probes into his
    work, and quite especially tapes including Hamlisch himself. He’s a delight. Narration is revealing and interesting–none of that “and then he wrote” tedium. I recommend it to all the theatre folks I come in contact with. At the end, I felt I had met a truly extraordinary man.

  11. This was an awesome tribute to an American Icon; wonderful to learn from those that loved him more about what a great man he was.

  12. Dori Berinstein has done an outstanding job by revealing the many other facets of the muti-talented Marvin Hamlisch. The images and stories she has carefully gathered over the past year could not be more powerful and informative regarding Marvin’s personal and professional life. It is a true gift to have known and worked with him,and even though he is not with us in this realm,his music and this documentary will continue to inspire audiences. He is and was “One Singular Sensation!”

  13. Absolutely love it. Even my husband sat down to watch with me and he loved it too. My daughter and her boyfriend watched a bit with us. When someone said that Marvin made a point of mentioning people in his audiences who brought their young children with them, I looked at my daughter and she smiled. It’s so important to expose children to the arts. Thank you Marvin, and God Bless your soul.

  14. This was a beautiful and touching documentary of a man who blazed his own trail and managed to hold on to his humility and humanity in a business that often places very little value on either.

  15. This is now a well-documented piece of history honoring a great man who had a solid influence on American culture. How wonderful to be known as a good person as well as a gifted genius.

  16. Enjoyed it. Liked seeing your parents. That was neat. Didn’t realize he trained at Juillard before he was in second grade. A lovely man, even though I never met him.

  17. What a beautifully done portrait of such an incredible man! We miss him so much. He was such a great mentor to our daughter Rachel. Wish we would have had a tape of their last concert in Seattle, December 2011, which was something we will never forget. They were magic! Much love to Terre, especially at this time of year. It is never easy, but hope you know he will always be loved by so many.

  18. I saw the American Masters bio on Marvin Hamlisch last night on PBS. While the program was excellent, I’m so very sad and sorry that he left us way too soon.

  19. This documentary was a lesson in love and allowed us to see the passion of this Great American Treasure. Sweet Smell Of Success, the best score ever. “Nobody Does It Better”.

  20. This is an insightful ride through Marvin’s extraordinary life from his international successes and renown to the quiet personal moments of his life that show him to be the fascinatingly unique, caring, funny, genius that he was. Each friend’s insights are so interesting. There are no weak links. I could watch this film over and over again. It leaves me wanting more Marvin! I highly recommend it to EVERYONE!!!

  21. Dori Berinstein did a fabulous job of putting together this documentary about the amazingly talented Marvin Hamlisch. The family films and photos were a wonderful addition to the moving and sincere remarks of the celebrities. We all miss Marvin…his talent, his generosity, his sense of humor.

  22. I am impressed at how solid and normal this man was for all his true genius mentality…much credit to his mom for a lot of that

  23. It is hard to put into words what an impact the American Masters PBS
    program about Marvin Hamlisch had on me.I am 66,a native New Yorker,
    and have listened to much of every kind of music that city’s great
    and ordinary citizens have created.I just want say,humbly,that Mr.
    Hamlisch was sent so all the rest of us could be blessed!! Thank you
    to Terre Hamlisch for allowing such a film to be made so us ordinary
    people could see how special your beloved husband was–musically and
    as a person!!

  24. I cannot thank you enough for the ‘heads up’ re: tonight’s
    PBS American Masters: Marvin Hamlisch What He Did for Love”!

    This is television at it’s Very Best.…Brilliant! Wonderful to have so many of the gifts Hamlisch gave us all in one program! He continues to grace us with the talent he generously shared with the world.

    I had read about the Marvin-Terre love story in “Marvin
    Hamlisch The Way I Was”. “Telephone Terre”. Heartwarming seeing and hearing Terre relate their beautiful journey! Thank you, Terre!

    • It is a musical for all who love Broadway- the dark story of J.J. Hunsecker and Sidney Falco and how talent agents schemed to get their clients’ names in “the column”. Rich powerful magnificent score- “Dirt“‘ “I Cannot Hear the City” “At the Fountain” and more Check out the music on line!

    • Thank you, Kitty, for capturing the true Essenes of Marvin’s soul. I have watched this documentary twice this weekend (already). He was and will always be a true gift to humanity. His genius for composing music that reflected the emotion of the moment is a treasure for posterity. To be able to sit at the piano, place your fingers on the keys and play everything and anything , changing keys on a whim, transforming the listener on a once in a lifetime journey with humility, humor and passion is beyond remarkable. Thank you, Terre, for sharing this beautiful man with each of us.

  25. An inspiration for all humanity. PBS continues to enrich our lives with access to otherwise unaccessable opportunities.

  26. I just finished watching the documentary and was so moved that I had to search out this man named Marvin Hamlisch. I did not realize he had passed away and when I did read that fact, it made me cry.

    I don’t know this man at all but after listening to his music and being able to take a small peek into his life, I know now that his legacy will still live on in the hearts of people who see this documentary.

  27. Truly enjoyed the PBS documentary about the extraordinary man, Marvin Hamlisch! I’m not sure I will see anyone else like him in my lifetime! What a gift!

  28. Looking at Barbara on pbs and loving it. Marvin was truly a genius. His wife said he’s left a huge body of unpublished work. That’s something to look forward to.