Ebb, Fred 1933(?)-2004
EBB, Fred 1933(?)-2004
OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born April 8, 1933 (some sources say 1932, 1935, or 1936), in New York, NY; died of heart failure September 11, 2004, in New York, NY. Author. Ebb was best known as the Broadway lyricist of such popular musicals as Cabaret and Chicago. After completing undergraduate work at New York University, he earned a master's degree in English literature from Columbia University in 1957. After graduating, Ebb held a number of odd jobs, including one at a furniture store. He became involved in the theater in the late 1950s, when he got a job assisting songwriter Philip Springer, and this led to his writing a few songs of his own. In 1963, Ebb met composer John Kander, marking the beginning of a fruitful collaboration that would span four decades, beginning with 1965's Flora, the Red Menace. Cabaret would follow the next year. Working with directors such as Bob Fosse and Harold Prince, and actresses such as Liza Minnelli, Shirley MacLaine, Lauren Bacall, and Chita Rivera, Ebb and Kander contributed to such other well-known musicals and plays as Chicago (1975), Woman of the Year (1981), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1990), and And the World Goes Round (1991). Many of these earned Antoinette Perry and Drama Critics Circle awards, and several were adapted to the silver screen, including Cabaret (1972), The Kiss of the Spider Woman (1997), and Chicago (2002); Ebb was also the lyricist for films such as Funny Lady (1975) and New York, New York (1977), writing the words to the latter's title song, which became a standard hit for Frank Sinatra. Although some of his more recent efforts, such as 1997's Steel Pier, were less successful, Ebb continued to be a big name in Broadway theater, especially when popular revivals of Chicago and Cabaret were produced. Among his last works were the lyrics for Curtains (2002) and The Skin of Our Teeth (2003), as well as the musical The Visit, which has yet to be produced.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Chicago Tribune, September 13, 2004, section 1, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times, September 13, 2004, p. B9.
New York Times, September 13, 2004, p. A20.
Times (London, England), September 14, 2004, p. 34.
Washington Post, September 13, 2004, p. B6.