Barbra Streisand paid tribute Tuesday to Marvin Hamlisch, calling "The Way We Were" composer, "a beautiful human being."
Hamlisch died this week at age 68 after a brief illness. His work on the love ballad provided Streisand with one of her most popular anthems and helped make the film "The Way We Were" a box-office smash when it was released in 1973. He would go onto win two Oscars for his work on the romantic drama, one for score and one for best original song.
"The world will remember Marvin for his brilliant musical accomplishments, from 'A Chorus Line' to 'The Way We Were,' and so many others, but when I think of him now, it was his brilliantly quick mind, his generosity, and delicious sense of humor that made him a delight to be around," Streisand said in a statement.
Though "The Way We Were" remained the pair's most famous collaboration, Hamlisch and Streisand worked with each other frequently through the years and rose up the show business ranks together. Their first association was when he was tapped to be a rehearsal pianist for Streisand's Broadway breakthrough role in "Funny Girl."
Hamlisch would serve as musical director and arranger of Streisand’s 1994 concert tour and the television special, "Barbra Streisand: The Concert," for which he won two Emmys.
In addition, Streisand said, Hamlisch played at her 1998 wedding to actor James Brolin.
"Just last night, I was trying to reach him, to tell him how much I loved him, and that I wanted to use an old song of his, that I had just heard for the first time," Streisand said. "He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being. I will truly miss him."