Martin Richards, a much respected Broadway and movie producer, died Nov. 26 in his Manhattan home. He was 80.
He produced the original Chicago musical on Broadway and won an Academy Award as the producer of the 2002 film version.
Born Morton Richard Klein in the Bronx, Richards got his first job at the age of 10 as a newsboy in the Broadway show Mexican Hayride with June Havoc. He did other shows and commercials until his voice changed. At 17, a baritone, he began performing in nightclubs under his new name. He spent two years at New York University studying architecture, his grandfather’s profession, while singing at night, but quit to pursue show business full-time. Realizing he would never make it big as a singer, Richards landed jobs as a casting director. He found actors for small roles in Manhattan-location movies like The Seven Year Itch, Sweet Charity, The Boston Strangler, and Sweet Smell of Success.
In 1976, with one million dollars from his wife, Richards established the Producers Circle with Robert Fryer and James Cresson. The partnership produced such Broadway musical hits as On the Twentieth Century, Sweeney Todd, La Cage aux Folles, and The Will Rogers Follies. Their shows won more than 36 Tony Awards. Crimes of the Heart won a Pulitzer Prize. Among their films were The Boys from Brazil, The Shining, and Fort Apache, the Bronx.
Richards and his late wife were instrumental in founding Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He also established the liver and kidney transplant unit at New York University Langone Medical Center and created the New York Center for Children to care for abused children and their families.
Broadway’s lights were dimmed in Richards’ honor on Nov. 27.
Jewish Features2 weeks ago
Chief Rabbi of Brooklyn’s Syrian Jewish Community Rabbi Shaul Rahamim Kassin Passes
Israel News3 weeks ago
Israel Antiquities Authority: 9,000-year-old Rare Stone Mask Uncovered
Breaking News1 week ago
Two Children from Lev Tahor Cult Kidnapped in Catskills on Shabbos
Jewcy News2 weeks ago
Thousands Mourn Chacham Shaul Kassin, zt’l at Levaya in Bklyn & J’slm
Breaking News2 weeks ago
Jewish Conservative Reporter Laura Loomer Chains Herself To Twitter NYC Headquarters in Free Speech Protest
New York City News2 weeks ago
NYS Senator Warns Kiryas Joel Residents: There’s “A New Sheriff in Town”
New York City News6 days ago
$31 Million Raised in Record-Breaking UJA Wall Street Dinner
Health2 weeks ago
It’s Safe to Eat Romaine Lettuce Again, But Check Labels: FDA