Broadway composer Cy Coleman dies at 75

Nov. 19, 2004 at 4:47 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Cy Coleman, the legendary Broadway composer who wrote "Big Spender," "If They Could See Me Now" and "Witchcraft," has died at age 75.

Coleman's publicist, John Barlow, said the composer died of heart failure Thursday night at New York Hospital after attending the premiere of a new play at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theater, the New York Times reported.

"He felt unwell at the party afterward and collapsed at the hospital" Barlow said.

Coleman's collaborations with other Broadway legends -- including Dorothy Fields and the team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green -- earned him 14 Tony nominations. He won the award three times -- for the scores for "On the Twentieth Century," "City of Angels" and "The Will Rogers Follies."

His hit shows included "Sweet Charity" -- with book by Neil Simon and lyrics by Fields, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse.

Coleman told the Times in an interview last month he had no plans to retire.

"It won't work for me," he said. "I'm lucky to be in a profession where you can keep getting better. To put it in musician's terms, my chops are good."

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