'Chicago,' Broadway Producer Marty Richards Dies at 80
Marty Richards, a veteran theater and film producer who had been active on Broadway for more than 50 years, died Monday at the age of 80, Playbill reports.
Richards' Broadway credits included Sweeney Todd, two different productions of La Cage aux Folles, Crimes of the Heart, The Will Rogers Follies, The Life and The Norman Conquests, a number of which earned him Tony Awards. Other notable stage productions included On the Twentieth Century, Grand Hotel, Sweet Smell of Success and Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life.
He also produced 2002's Oscar-winning movie adaptation of the musical Chicago, along with 1980's The Shining, 1978's The Boys From Brazil and 1981's Fort Apache, The Bronx. In 2006, Richards sued Miramax for a portion of Chicago's revenue; the lawsuit was settled a few years later.
In 1976, Richards founded the movie and theater production company Producer Circle Co. His latest musical, Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues, premiered in August.
Richards and his late wife, Mary Lea Johnson, were instrumental in the creation of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Meals on Wheels. Known to be philanthropic, he created New York Center for Children to care for abused children and families and also established the liver and kidney transplant unit at the NYU Medical Center, which was named after his wife.
The lights on Broadway's marquees will be dimmed on Nov. 27 in memory of Richards, who is survived by his brother Bruce Klein and a niece and nephew.
Funeral services will take place at Frank Campbell Funeral Chapel in New York City, with visitation on Nov. 28 and 29.
David Rooney in New York contributed to this report.