Just yesterday, Broadway lost producer Martin Richards to cancer. He was 80 years old. Long-time friend and Broadway legend Chita Rivera just released the following statement on his passing:
“With Marty gone, he has taken a piece of myself with him. What a privilege to have shared a part of his flamboyant history. Through Marty and his courageous eye and infallible taste, I have inherited gifts I had never imagined would come my way.
I loved him dearly and will miss him every day of my life. I have lost a great friend.”
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.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.