The Broadway community mourns the loss of celebrated producer Martin Richards, who passed away yesterday at age 80. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory tonight, Tuesday, November 27th, at exactly 7:00 p.m. for one minute.
Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, said, “For over 50 years, Marty Richards has been transferring his passion for theatre to the stage. The popularity of his shows has brought many generations to Broadway. He was an admirer of talent, and we were an admirer of his. His love for the arts was matched only by his generosity and philanthropic causes. He will be greatly missed, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Mr. Richards produced such Broadway hits as ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, SWEENEY TODD, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (original and 1st revival), GRAND HOTEL, THE LIFE, Will Rogers FOLLIES amongst many others. His shows have won over 40 Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards® as well as numerous Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. In addition, his production of CRIMES OF THE HEART garnered a 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 generous 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 went on to 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.