Marty Richards, ‘Chicago’ and ‘Sweeney Todd’ Producer, Dies at 80

In addition to Broadway shows, Marty Richards produced films "The Shining" and "The Boys From Brazil"

Marty Richards, the producer behind the Broadway productions of "Sweeney Todd" and "La Cage aux Folles," as well as the 2002 big-screen adaptation of "Chicago," died Monday, Playbill reports. He was 80.

Getty ImagesRichards, born Morton Richard Klein in the Bronx, started out as a performer, joining the cast of the 1944 musical comedy "Mexican Hayride" at 10 and performing as a nightclub singer while studying architecture at NYU. Small television and movie parts followed, with Richards later working as a casting director for Fox and Paramount.

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His first production, the 1972 off-Broadway show "Dylan," earned an Obie Award. That success would lead to a job on the Broadway production of "Chicago," where he maintained order after the production was delayed by director Bob Fosse's heart attack.

 In 1976, Richards founded the Producer Circle Co. with Johnson & Johnson heiress Mary Lea Johnson; the pair would marry in 1978. Together the couple co-produced such plays as "On the Twentieth Century," "Roza" and "Goodbye Fidel."

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Along with "Chicago," Klein's other film production credits included 1980's "The Shining" and 1978's "The Boys From Brazil."

Richards is survived by a brother, Bruce Klein, niece, Lisa Kirschner, and a nephew, Sean Klein.