Stars react to the death of Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim: 'Performing his work has been among the greatest privileges'

·4 min read

Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim has died at 91. The composer-lyricist, whose hits included West Side Story, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park With George, passed away in his Connecticut home on Nov. 26, one day after Thanksgiving. Beloved by the theater community and beyond for his innovative approach to the medium, Sondheim was celebrated by a slew of stars in the wake of his death, who used social media to express their sorrow over his passing.

Stephen Sondheim, composer during Encore's presents Stephen Sondheim's
Stars react to the death of Stephen Sondheim. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

Barbra Streisand, a musical legend in her own right for roles in musicals such as Funny Girl, tweeted alongside a photo of her and Sondheim, “Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics! May he Rest In Peace.”

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

Hugh Jackman, who has graced the Broadway stage in musicals such as The Boy From Oz and The Music Man, shared, “Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. 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.”

Wicked alum Idina Menzel echoed the sentiment on Twitter, writing, “Goodbye dear sir. We will spend our lives trying to make you proud. #stephensondheim.”

Author Neil Gaiman wrote of his experience getting the rights to a song from Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along.

“He wrote me a wonderful permission letter to use ‘Old Friends’ in American Gods. I avoided meeting him (failed only once) and refused dinner because I didn’t have many heroes,” he shared. “Now I’ve got one less. Thank you Stephen Sondheim so much.”

​​

Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba gushed, “​​Stephen Sondheim was 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.”

Actor Josh Gad added, "Perhaps not since April 23rd of 1616 has theater lost such a revolutionary voice. Thank you Mr. Sondheim for your Demon Barber, some Night Music, a Sunday in the Park, Company, fun at a Forum, a trip Into the Woods and telling us a West Side Story. RIP."