Jerry Herman, the legendary Broadway composer and lyricist behind such hits as “Hello Dolly!,” “Mame” and “La Cage aux Folles” who died Thursday at 88, was remembered by friends and fans as a prolific writer and a reliable source of “love, trust, encouragement, support and laughter.”
Herman’s career spanned decades, and his shows have enjoyed numerous Broadway revivals.
Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the book for the Tony-winning “La Cage aux Folles,” hailed Herman as a “collaborator and friend for almost 40 years.”
Jerry Herman lost his hard fought battle last night and we lost one of the greats. A collaborator and friend for almost 40 years, I cannot thank him enough for his love, trust, encouragement, support and laughter. Well done, Mr Herman. Bravo! pic.twitter.com/QYws9jQu6h
— Harvey Fierstein (@HarveyFierstein) December 27, 2019
Bernadette Peters described Herman as “always so enthusiastic and uplifting.”
How Sad,,,Jerry Herman has passed away ,,,of course he made it to Christmas and left us the next day !! He was always so enthusiastic and uplifting about things and gave us the wonderful show Hello Dolly among others !!RIP Jerry Dearest ❤️❤️❤️❤️🎄
— Bernadette Peters (@OfficialBPeters) December 27, 2019
Barbra Streisand, who starred in the 1969 film adaptation of “Hello, Dolly!”, said that Herman’s “tuneful optimism brought joy to the world.”
Lighting a candle for Broadway musical legend JERRY HERMAN.
His tuneful optimism brought joy to the world. pic.twitter.com/iBwBW39WHB
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) December 27, 2019
George Takei thanked Herman for “the music and the laughter.”
Broadway has lost a legend, the great Jerry Herman, who gave us such great works as Hello Dolly, Mame, and La Cage Aux Folles. Thank you for the music and the laughter. We will sing your tunes forever.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 27, 2019
Leslie Uggams, Tony and Emmy award-winning actress who starred in Herman’s Broadway show “Jerry’s Girls,” remembered singing with the composer at the Hollywood Bowl with Carol Channing, Rita Moreno and Karen Morrow.
RIP dear Jerry Herman. We were all so blessed to have you walk into our lives. A highlight of my career was singing for and with you at the Hollywood Bowl with Carol Channing, Rita Moreno and Karen Morrow. And how lucky am I to have played iconic Dolly, Mame, & Jerry's Girls. 💔 pic.twitter.com/eBi4I3QCnM
— Leslie Uggams (@LeslieUggams) December 27, 2019
Tony award-winning actress Donna Murphy praised Herman’s “countless moments of explosive joy.”
Dear Jerry Herman,
Thank you for the countless moments of explosive joy,deep poignancy,profound inspiration,humor& heartbreak,all w/a sense of hope &possibility;all through your amazing music & lyrics.Your Dolly broke me&saved me.4ever grateful.I’ll sing ur songs 4ever🙏💖💫 #RIP https://t.co/FjOM7F2xkv
— Donna Murphy (@DMurphyOfficial) December 27, 2019
Singer Michael Feinstein called Herman an “amazing composer, lyricists, and most of all FRIEND.”
The great Jerry Herman is gone.
He was an amazing composer, lyricists, and most of all FRIEND. I will miss him! pic.twitter.com/2V1CbT1i2x
— Michael Feinstein (@MichaelFeinstei) December 27, 2019
Joe Iconis, lyricist and composer for “Be More Chill,” shared a video of the “I Am What I Am” number from “La Cage,” calling it “Punk Rock Musical Theater.”
— Joe Iconis (@MrJoeIconis) December 27, 2019
Actor Syrus Lowe, who played Jacob in a “La Cage” London revival, called it one of his “favourite jobs,” thanking Herman for his “beautiful, uplifting & magical music.”
— Syrus Lowe #BLM (@SyrusLoweDown) December 27, 2019
Film producer John Cohen (“Angry Birds,” “Despicable Me”) hailed Herman’s memorable shows.
Mame, Hello Dolly and La Cage aux Folles are such terrific shows. RIP to the great Jerry Herman. pic.twitter.com/zIeTcsnW4M
— John Cohen (@JohnCohen1) December 27, 2019
Kristen Anderson-Lopez, songwriter of “Frozen’s” “Let It Go” and other hits, quoted Herman’s words from the song “Best of Times” from “La Cage.”
So hold this moment fast
And live and love
As hard as you know how
And make this moment last
Because the best of times is now
Is now, is now, is now, is now
-Jerry Herman #lyriciftheday pic.twitter.com/YKUfCFV8xH
— Kristen Anderson-Lopez (@Lyrikris10) December 27, 2019