‘Isn’t it lovely how artists can capture us?’ Stars, fans react to Stephen Sondheim’s death

Stephen Sondheim
The revered musical theater icon Stephen Sondheim after being awarded the Freedom of the City of London. He died Friday at age 91.
(Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Pres )
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News of musical theater icon Stephen Sondheim‘s death on Friday spawned an outpouring of remembrances and condolences on social media from fans, musicians, Hollywood stars and more.

Sondheim, one of Broadway’s most esteemed creative minds, died early Friday at his home in Roxbury, Conn., at age 91. Sondheim wrote the lyrics for musical theater hits such as “West Side Story” and “Gypsy,” and would go on to write the words and music to “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Into the Woods,” “Sunday in the Park With George” and more.

One of his many landmark musicals, “Company,” has revived on Broadway, while Steven Spielberg’s new movie adaptation of “West Side Story” will open next month.


“We have lost the Shakespeare of musical theatre,” the director of the “Company” revival, Marianne Elliott, wrote in a statement posted online. “He was the most generous collaborator with the greatest spirit. ... We dedicate the production of ‘Company’ to his artistry and joy.”

“Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form,” wrote “Les Miserables” actor Hugh Jackman on Twitter. “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.”

“I was just talking to someone a few nights ago about how much fun (and f—ing difficult) it is to sing Stephen Sondheim,” “Pitch Perfect” and “Into the Woods” actress Anna Kendrick said on Twitter. “Performing his work has been among the greatest privileges of my career. A devastating loss.”

The theater legend behind seminal works from “West Side Story” to “Sweeney Todd” has a show on Broadway and a movie due soon.

Nov. 26, 2021

“Orange Is the New Black” actress Uzo Aduba called Sondheim “the best there ever was. I don’t know when we will ever have another of his caliber, of his breadth and scope. Just the greatest, a legend, a true titan. Rest In Peace.”

“Coraline” author Neil Gaiman shared that Sondheim wrote him a “wonderful permission” letter to use his song “Old Friends” for the TV series “American Gods,” based off his fantasy novel of the same name. “I avoided meeting him (failed only once) and refused dinner because I didn’t have many heroes,” he tweeted. “Now I’ve got one less. Thank you Stephen Sondheim so much.”


“He left us with so many words, but none enough for this post,” the Tony Awards Twitter page said. “Goodbye, old pal. Thank you ... for so much brilliance in the theatre and sharing your music with us all.”

See more remembrances below: