Theater producer Martin Richards dead at 80

Nov. 27, 2012 at 2:08 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Theater and film producer Martin Richards has died at his Manhattan home, his representatives said. He was 80.

The Broadway icon died Monday. The cause of his death was not immediately disclosed.

Among his hit shows were "On the Twentieth Century," "Sweeney Todd," "La Cage Aux Folles," "Grand Hotel," "The Life," "Will Rogers Follies" and many others. His plays and musicals have won more than 40 Tony Awards, as well as numerous Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.

In addition, his production of "Crimes of the Heart" garnered the Pulitzer Prize.

Richards was the producer of the original "Chicago" on Broadway and went on to win an Academy Award for producing the film version in 2003.

His other films include "The Shining," "Boys From Brazil" and "Fort Apache, The Bronx."

Richards was also a philanthropist.

He, along with his late wife, Mary Lea Johnson Richards, was instrumental in founding Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and Meals on Wheels. Richards helped establish the liver and kidney transplant unit at the NYU Medical Center that bears his wife's name. Richards also created the New York Center for Children to care for abused children and their families.

Richards is survived by a brother, niece and nephew.

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