Entertainment & Arts

Martin Richards, Broadway and film producer, dies

Martin Richards
Image caption Richards' shows won more than 40 Tony awards, Broadway's top honour

Martin Richards, the Tony award-winning producer behind Broadway hit Sweeney Todd, has died in New York aged 80.

Richards produced the original Broadway production of Chicago in 1975, going on to win an Oscar in 2003 for producing the film version.

Publicist Judy Jacksina said Richards, who had been suffering from cancer, died on Monday.

Charlotte St Martin of The Broadway League said his popular shows "brought many generations" to Broadway.

"He was an admirer of talent, and we were an admirer of his," she added.

Richards' other Broadway productions included Crimes of the Heart, La Cage Aux Folles, Grand Hotel and The Life.

During 50 years of producing plays and musicals his shows won more than 40 Tony awards.

'Infallible taste'

He also had producing credits on a number of films, including The Shining, The Boys From Brazil and Fort Apache: The Bronx.

Chita Rivera, star of the original production of Chicago, said in a statement that she had lost a great friend.

"What a privilege to have shared a part of his flamboyant history," she said.

"Through Marty and his courageous eye and infallible taste, I have inherited gifts I had never imagined would come my way."

Earlier this year Richards produced the new musical Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues at The Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbour, New York.

The marquees of Broadway's theatres were dimmed in his memory on Tuesday night.

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