Jerry Herman Remembered by Bernadette Peters, Harvey Fierstein and More: ‘We Lost One of the Greats’

“Hello, Dolly!” composer died Thursday of pulmonary complications

Last Updated: December 27, 2019 @ 7:48 AM

Shortly after reports surfaced that Jerry Herman, Broadway composer of hits like “Hello, Dolly!” and “La Cage aux Folles” died Thursday of pulmonary complications, stars of the stage and screen flocked to Twitter to share fond memories.

“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,” tweeted “Annie” actress Bernadette Peters.

Harvey Fierstein, an actor and playwright known for “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Independence Day,” shared thoughts on his “friend of 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!” Fierstein tweeted.

Lea Salonga, the Tony award-winning singer known for performances in “Miss Saigon,” and “Mulan,” tweeted, “Rest in peace, Jerry Herman.”

“God bless you Jerry Herman … Lucky enough to play in your ‘Dear World’ ….’so long dearie,'” tweeted British actress Rebecca Lock.

John Barrowman, a stage and screen actor known for “Arrow,” “Torchwood” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” tweeted, “I had the great pleasure of working with Jerry Herman on a few projects… Thanks Jerry for making my musical life so much richer. ‘Life’s not worth a damn till you can say, hey world, I am what I am.’

Herman was one of the last Broadway composers in the Rodgers & Hammerstein tradition, who relied on hummable melodies and optimistic, seize-the-day lyrics reflected in such songs as “The Best of Times,” “Tap Your Troubles Away,” “We Need a Little Christmas” and “Before the Parade Passes By.”

Over his storied career, Herman won four Tony Awards, including a 2009 Lifetime Achievement honor. He earned honors for his score for “Hello, Dolly!” in 1964 and for “La Cage aux Folles” in 1984, and then another as a producer of the 2017 Bette Midler-led revival of “Hello, Dolly!”

See the reactions below.

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