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AP/HuffPost  |  Posted:  |  Updated: 08/08/12 10:01 AM ET

Marvin Hamlisch Dead: Streisand, Minnelli, Menzel React (SLIDESHOW)

Prolific and seeming without boundaries, Marvin Hamlisch, who died at 68 after a short illness, composed music for film heroes from James Bond and Woody Allen, for powerful singers such as Liza Minnelli and Aretha Franklin, and high-kicking dancers of the Tony-winning "A Chorus Line." To borrow one of his song titles, nobody did it better.

Below, some of those whose lives he affected share their thoughts.

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  • Barbra Streisand

    "When I think of him now, it was his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity, and delicious sense of humor that made him a delight to be around. Just last night, I was trying to reach him, to tell him how much I loved him, and that I wanted to use an old song of his, that I had just heard for the first time. He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being. I will truly miss him."

  • Nancy Reagan

    "Marvin Hamlisch was a dear friend and I am truly stunned by his death at such a young age. I heard him say once that he was `old fashioned' and I suppose that's why Ronnie and I were so drawn to him, but I don't think you could ever find a more contemporary and talented musician. During our time at the White House, he entertained at many events - he even let me sing with him a few times, but luckily his piano music drowned out my voice! And I'll never forget that he wrote a special song for Ronnie's surprise 77th birthday party in 1988."

  • Alan Menken

    "I'm shocked by the loss of a great colleague, as is everyone in the theater and film business and every corner of the arts where song and score matter to people. The fraternity of songwriters has lost a great friend."

  • Liza Minnelli

    "He was one of the funniest people I knew. I will miss his talent, our laughter and friendship, but mostly I will miss Marvin. My heart is with his wife Terre always. I have lost my first lifelong best friend, and sadly we have lost a splendid, splendid talent."

  • Idina Menzel

    "Marvin was a friend and mentor, but often felt like a second father to me. To have shared the stage with such a legend has been some of the most rewarding moments in my career. Not only does he leave us with the most precious of melodies and music, but anyone who has ever shared an after show drink with him can attest to his hysterical storytelling and deep love for his stunning wife, Terre. My heart is broken. He made me feel so special. I love him so much."

  • Recording Academy President Neil Portnow

    "His work had a significant influence on our culture, and continues to reach across generations. The music industry has lost a truly gifted artist, and our condolences are with his family, friends and all those who were inspired by his singular talent."

  • National Symphony Orchestra Exec. Dir. Rita Shapiro

    "His musicianship, his humor, and his friendship will be deeply missed and the memories will long be treasured by all at the NSO."

  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra (statement)

    "His natural grace at the piano, his humor and his elegant style in many genres of music delighted and charmed audiences, and impressed his fellow musicians the world over." <em>Pictured: Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas</em>

  • New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

    "Today, we lost a world class virtuoso and native New Yorker whose music brought stages and screens to life from Broadway to Hollywood and all points in between. As a child of immigrants, Marvin's life was a great New York success story."

  • Charles Bernstein, Film Composer ("Nightmare On Elm Street")

    "Marvin was much beloved in our community. He was generous with his time and wonderful at reaching out to make the art of songwriting and film scoring accessible to people outside of the profession. He had the special gift of melody, and we are all the richer for it."

  • Songwriters Alan And Marilyn Bergman

    "He was more than our collaborator. He was our beloved friend. He was family. The world will miss his music, his humor, his genius. We will miss him every day for the rest of our lives."

  • Charlotte St. Martin, Broadway League Exec. Dir.

    "Marvin Hamlisch's accomplishments in the theatre and film worlds are legendary. He left an everlasting mark with the groundbreaking `A Chorus Line,' one of my personal favorites. His legacy leaves us with a treasury of songs and stories that will always be familiar to theatregoers as they stir up meaningful and heartfelt emotions."

  • Actress-Singer Lucie Arnaz

    "My husband, Larry, and I will always remember him as the good friend who was always there to say yes to any worthy cause. Generous beyond measure. I will miss him deeply."

  • Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager, who wrote the lyrics to "Nobody Does It Better"

    "Marvin Hamlisch was a musical genius. He was also very, very funny, extremely bright and a wonderful and loyal friend. I am shocked at his passing; he was always so completely alive and filled with energy."

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