Lucy Simon, who is known for her musicals Doctor Zhivago (2011) and The Secret Garden (1991) died Thursday at her home in Piedmont, New York at 82.
Lucy Simon Dies at 82
As per the announcement made by the family spokesperson about Lucy Simon death, the sister of Carly Simon, who performed together with the pop superstar as the Simon Sisters, passed after a long battle with breast cancer. The two began their careers in Massachusetts and their performance was widely accepted by the Tarriers in Greenwich Village nightclubs.
While Carley was earning success with her songs, “You’re So Vain,” “Anticipation,” and “ Haven’t Got Time for the Pain,” Simon went to some kind of nursing school and later married David Levine, a Psychiatrist at the center.
Shortly after, Simon made her re-entry, recording two singles for RCA, “Stolen Time” (1977) and “Lucy Simon” (1975).
Simon and her husband, Levine then went on to produce a couple of Grammy-winning children’s albums – “In Harmony” (1981) and “In Harmony 2” (1983).
Lucy Simon was dubbed as the rare female composer in her era to have a show running on Broadway. The show was successfully running while The Secret Garden debuted in 1991. Winning two Tonys, the musical based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s popular children’s novel, starring Daisy Eagan, Mandy Patinkin, Alison Fraser, and Rebecca Luker performed well all around the globe.
Author Marsha Norman, who served as the lyricist of the book “The Secret Gardener” and producer Heidi Landesman hired Simon as their official composer, being impressed after hearing a demo melody she wrote for “I Heard Someone Crying.”
For the 1993 film, Holly Hunter, Simon wrote and produced soundtracks and songs.
In March 2015, Doctor Zhivago, her next mucal, debuted in Australia after almost 2 decades of gestation and finally got placed on Broadway. Later, Simon revealed her inspiration for the musical arrived from the poems of Boris Pasternak titled, Zhivago towards the closure of his phenomenal 1957 novel.
At the time she said, “Those poems were my path into music, my inspiration to tell that story in my song.”
With Victoria Clark directing, Simon went to work with Emily Menn and Birkenhead on the musical based on the 2015 book, Our Souls at Night. However, her ailment forced her to move away from the project.
For Sustained Excellence in American Theatre, Simon received the Samuel French Award in 2018.
Simon was born on May 5, 1940, to father Richard Simon, a publishing giant, and mother Andrea, a one-time switchboard operator at “Simon & Schuster.”
Among the four children they had, Lucy Simon was the second. Joanna, Peter, and Carly are her three beloved siblings. Apparently, the children grew up in a household that heavily promoted luminaries like Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Benny Goodman, and James Thurber.
When Simon was 14, she was asked to learn a poem as a school assignment and the incident urged her to write music for the Eugene Field Poem, “Wynken Blynken & Nod.” That recording reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1964.
In her early career, Simon bought the rights to compose musicals for the classic children’s book “Little House” on the “Prairie.” With that in mind, Simon began to work with lyricist Susan Birkenhead, but they had to pull the leg as the project never went forward.
“That book did not work, but I learned to write for theatre. So when I was asked to write music for The Secret Garden, I was ready,” she said.
In addition to her popular sister, Lucy Simon is survived by her husband, Levine, and her children, Julie, and James, and grandchildren Ben, Evie, Charlie, and Sophie.
“I believe that life and art will continue into the future,” she said sometimes before. “The melody often takes me home. It leads me to my destination. It’s my religion as if gods were speaking to me.”