Hal Prince, Tony-Winning Broadway Legend, Dead at 91
Hal Prince, a Broadway legend for his production and direction of many of the most critically-acclaimed and popular musicals of the past 60 years, died Wednesday in Reykjavik, Iceland, following a short illness, THR reports. He was 91.
Prince's rep confirmed his passing with the statement: "He is missed and loved by his family — Judy, his wife of 56 years; his daughter, Daisy; his son, Charles; and his grandchildren, Phoebe, Lucy and Felix. As per his wishes, there will be no funeral but there will be a celebration of his life this fall with the people he loved most, the members of the theatrical community that he was a part of for seven decades."
A protégé of similarly long-lived producer George Abbott (who died at 107 in 1995), NYC-born Prince co-produced, produced, and/or directed a slew of iconic shows, including "The Pajama Game" (1954; co-producer); "Damn Yankees" (1955; co-producer), "West Side Story" (1957; co-producer), "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (1962; producer); "Fiddler on the Roof" (1964; producer), "Cabaret" (1966; producer/director), "Compan" (1970; producer/director), "Follies" (1971; producer/director); "Sweeney Todd" (1979; director), "Evita" (1979; director), "The Phantom of the Opera" (1986, director), and "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1993; director).
Particularly noted for his collaborations with composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, Prince eventually gave up producing to focus on directing, which interested him more.
He was awarded an astounding 21 Tony Awards, including three special honors — a record.
His final work was "Prince of Broadway," co-directed with Susan Stroman, which opened in Japan in 2015 and played Broadway for two months in 2017.
"I'm totally mindful that nobody will ever have the life I've had in the theater," he told The New York Times in 2008. "That's past. And that's damn sad."