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Jerry Herman has died aged 88

The composer and lyricist passed away in Florida

Jerry Herman from the Miami Herald of May 24, 1987. Wright Langley Collection.
© Florida Keys Public Library (CC BY 2.0)

Composer and lyricist Jerry Herman has died aged 88.

Over the course of a massive career, Herman supplied music and lyrics for shows including Mame, Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles. He was nominated for five Tony Awards, winning two for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles.

Born in New Jersey, Herman went to school in the area before attending the University of Miami. From there he was a part of the Off-Broadway revue I Feel Wonderful, and made his Broadway debut with revue From A to Z in 1960, featuring material provided by the likes of Woody Allen and Fred Ebb.

His first full Broadway musical came in 1961 in the form of Milk and Honey. Hello, Dolly! was premiered in 1964, winning a record ten Tony Awards (a tally not beaten until 2001), with Mame following in 1966 starring Angela Lansbury.

His other shows include Dear World, The Grand Tour and Mack and Mabel, with La Cage Aux Folles coming later in 1983. Folles won the Tony Award for Best Musical and is the only musical to have won the Best Revival Tony Award twice.

Mame was recently revived in Manchester, with a new production of Hello, Dolly! opening in the West End starring Imelda Staunton.

The composer was honoured with a special Tony Award in 2009, and was honored by the Kennedy Centre in 2010. Herman's passing was confirmed in Florida early this morning by his goddaughter.

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