Following the death of Stephen Sondheim, Hollywood stars took to social media to share tributes and memories of the award-winning composer and lyricist who was known for revolutionizing American musical theater.

Sondheim, whose achievements included Company, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park With George and Into the Woods, died at 91.

The composer often collaborated with producer-director Hal Prince, pairing with him on musicals such as West Side Story and Merrily We Roll Along. Sondheim won nine Tony Awards as well as an Oscar, a Pulitzer Prize and eight Grammys.

Director Steven Spielberg, reflecting on his recent friendship with Sondheim, celebrated him not just as “a gigantic figure in American culture,” but “a lyricist and composer of real genius and a creator of some of the most glorious musical dramas ever written,” in a statement.

“Steve and I became friends only recently, but we became good friends and I was surprised to discover that he knew more about movies than almost anyone I’d ever met,” Spielberg said. “When we spoke, I couldn’t wait to listen, awestruck by the originality of his perceptions of art, politics and people — all delivered brilliantly by his mischievous wit and dazzling words. I will miss him very much, but he left a body of work that has taught us, and will keep teaching us, how hard and how absolutely necessary it is to love.”

On Twitter, Uzo Aduba referred to Sondheim as “the best there ever was,” writing, “I don’t know when we will ever have another of his caliber, of his breadth and scope. Just the greatest, a legend, a true titan. Rest In Peace.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda was full of praise for Sondheim. “Future historians: Stephen Sondheim was real,” he began. “Yes, he wrote Tony & Maria AND Sweeney Todd AND Bobby AND George & Dot AND Fosca AND countless more. Some may theorize Shakespeare’s works were by committee but Steve was real & he was here & he laughed SO loud at shows & we loved him.”

Elsewhere, Neil Gaiman said a few words on Twitter. “He wrote me a wonderful permission letter to use “Old Friends” in American Gods. I avoided meeting him (failed only once) and refused dinner because I didn’t have many heroes. Now I’ve got one less. Thank you Stephen Sondheim so much.”

Hugh Jackman wrote: “Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest.”

On Instagram, Jake Gyllenhaal shared a photo of Sondheim taken during the opening night of Sunday in the Park With George. Beside it, he wrote: “I am grateful to have shared time with the master and maestro of American musical theater, and to have played his George. We have lost a giant. We will miss you. Rest In Peace.”

The Simpsons writer Michael Price shared on Twitter an image of a letter that Sondheim wrote to him when accepting a cameo in the sitcom. “It’s been in a strong box under my bed since 2006.”

Paul Williams, president of the American Society of Composers, wrote in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, “The magnitude of Stephen Sondheim’s contribution to American musical theater is immeasurable and matched only by his immense generosity in influencing and mentoring new generations. We are forever grateful for his groundbreaking work, which truly evolved the art form of the Broadway musical, and for his support to The ASCAP Foundation to expand the possibilities for young people to experience the magic of the Broadway musical.”

Anna Kendrick shared on Twitter that “Performing his work has been among the greatest privileges of my career” and called Sondheim’s death “a devastating loss.”

George Takei, meanwhile, labeled Sondheim a “towering giant” and wrote that his legacy of song and lyric was unparalleled. “From West Side Story to Sweeney Todd, from Gypsy to Sunday in the Park with George, there will never be a master like him.”

Darren Criss thanked Sondheim for “something between ridiculous and sublime.”

Read these reactions and more below.



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