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Martin Richards Obituary

Martin Richards (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Martin Richards (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
NEW YORK (AP) - Martin Richards, the Tony Award-winning producer behind such Broadway hits as "Sweeney Todd," and "The Will Rogers Follies," has died after battling cancer, his publicist said Tuesday. He was 80.

Publicist Judy Jacksina said Richards died Monday.

In addition to his stage work, Richards was the producer of the original "Chicago" on Broadway and went on to win an Academy Award for producing the film version in 2003. His other films include "The Shining," ''Boys From Brazil" and "Fort Apache, The Bronx."

The marquees of Broadway theatres will be dimmed in his memory Tuesday night. Richards' shows won more than 40 Tonys during his five decades producing plays and musicals.

"The popularity of his shows has brought many generations to Broadway. He was an admirer of talent, and we were an admirer of his," Charlotte St. Martin, the executive director of The Broadway League, said in a statement.

Richards' other Broadway pr oductions include "Crimes of the Heart," ''La Cage Aux Folles," ''Grand Hotel" and "The Life."

Richards, along with his late wife, Mary Lea Johnson Richards, was instrumental in founding Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and Meals on Wheels. Richards also created the New York Center for Children to care for abused children and their families.

In a statement, actress Chita Rivera said she had lost a great friend.

"What a privilege to have shared a part of his flamboyant history. Through Marty and his courageous eye and infallible taste, I have inherited gifts I had never imagined would come my way," Rivera said.

Richards most recently produced the new musical "Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues" at The Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York, this summer.


Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Published in The New York Times on November 28, 2012
RICHARDS--Marty, 80, died peacefully at home on November 26, 2012. Mr. Richards, a lion of New York theatre for over 50 years, produced such Broadway hits as "On The Twentieth Century," "Sweeney... Read Obituary
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RICHARDS--Marty. The New York Center for Children mourns the loss of our beloved founder and benefactor. His kind, generous spirit will always guide our work. We will miss him greatly. Read Obituary
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RICHARDS--Marty. We will always remember the wonderful times we shared. You will be greatly missed by many. Love, Dennis Basso & Michael Cominotto Read Obituary
Published in The New York Times on November 30, 2012
RICHARDS--Marty. Our last conversation we had with Marty Richards, he said: "I remember days. Or at least I try. But as years go by They're a sort of haze. And the bluest ink Isn't really sky. And... Read Obituary
Published in The New York Times on November 30, 2012
RICHARDS--Marty. Thanks for Sarah Lawrence and for 33 years in Southampton. Love, Nina and Emily Davis Read Obituary
Published in The New York Times on December 1, 2012
RICHARDS--Marty. Our Dearest Marty, Thank you for your love, friendship, mentorship, and all the shows you helped create, in which your legacy will forever live. You are forever in our hearts. We... Read Obituary
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Richards--Martin. The Board and membership of the Southampton Rose 
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Published in The New York Times on December 2, 2012
RICHARDS--Marty. Marty Richards makes me want to sing. He had that effect on literally millions of people as he presented us with song, drama and his own unique "razzle dazzle". Although the lights... Read Obituary

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