Veteran Broadway producer and director Hal Prince has died at age 91.
Over his long career in the theater, Prince received 21 Tony Awards, including three special Tonys. The celebrated director and producer was a frequent collaborator with Stephen Sondheim, as the director and producer of “Company,” “Follies,” “Pacific Overtures,” “Merrily We Roll Along” and “A Little Night Music,” director of “Sweeney Todd” and producer of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “West Side Story.”
Prince died on July 31, in Reykjavik, Iceland, after a brief illness, according to spokesperson Rick Miramontez.
Outside of his collaboration with Sondheim, Prince is well-known for having directed and produced “Cabaret” and directing the still-running “The Phantom of the Opera,” as well as “Evita.” He was the producer of “Fiddler of the Roof.”
Prince, who said he fell in love with theater at age 8, spent the latter half of his career helping to foster the next generation of creative producers.
“The experiences you have in the theater can affect the rest of your life, it certainly did in my life,” Prince told Broadway News in an 2018 interview.
All Broadway theaters were dimming their lights Wednesday evening in memory of Prince.
Tributes to Prince poured in Wednesday from his former colleagues and from members of the theater community.
“Farewell, Hal. Not just the prince of musicals, the crowned head who directed two of the greatest productions of my career, ‘Evita’ and ‘Phantom.‘ This wonderful man taught me so much and his mastery of musical theatre was without equal,” Andrew Lloyd Webber said in a statement.
“Hal Prince was not only a legendary director of musicals, but also a brilliant producer. As the curtain finally falls on his phenomenal career, it is fitting that his greatest success as a director, ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ is still both the longest-running musical on Broadway and continues playing to packed houses at its original London theatre Her Majesty’s, where he also enjoyed two of his most enduring hits as the original producer of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and ‘West Side Story.’ The Gods of the theatre salute you, Hal,” producer Cameron Mackintosh said in a statement.
“We at the American Theatre Wing mourn with the rest of the theatre community, as today, we have lost a giant. Hal was our most Tony-winning artist as well as an exceptional mentor and thought leader for our industry. His legacy lives on in all the life changing theatre and artists he helped foster and shape. Rest well, friend!,” said Heather Hitchens, chief executive and president of the American Theatre Wing, in a statement.
— Jason Robert Brown (@MrJasonRBrown) July 31, 2019
I am saddened beyond words. There are some people you feel we will never be without. Hal is one of them. I owe so much to him. He knows my love for him. #HalPrince #Broadway pic.twitter.com/G2uhhHPMZ6
— Chita Rivera (@Chita_Rivera) July 31, 2019
Prince is survived by his wife, Judy, his daughter Daisy; his son, Charles; and his grandchildren, Phoebe, Lucy and Felix.
There will be no funeral, per Prince’s wishes, but there will be a celebration of his life this fall including members of the theatrical community.