'Chicago,' 'Cabaret' Lyricist Ebb Dies

Heart attack claims life of musicals veteran.

Famed songwriter/lyricist Fred Ebb died Saturday (Sept. 11) of a heart attack at his home in New York. He was 71.

Ebb is best known for co-writing the songs for such musicals as "Chicago" and "Cabaret" with his songwriting partner, John Kander. The duo's collaborations also included the stage musicals "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "Zorba" and "Woman of the Year." Kander and Ebb received best original song Academy Award nominations for "I Move On" from the 2002 movie musical "Chicago" and "How Lucky Can You Get" from the 1975 movie "Funny Lady." "I Move On" also received a Grammy nomination. More recently, Ebb co-wrote the song "Maybe This Time" heard in the 2004 comedy film "Connie and Carla."

Ebb also co-wrote the anthem "New York, New York" for the 1977 Martin Scorsese film of the same name. Frank Sinatra's version of the song made it one of Ebb's most famous tunes. As a songwriter and TV producer, Ebb received several Emmy Awards for his work on TV specials, including 1993's "Liza Minnelli Live From Radio City Music Hall," 1976's "Gypsy in My Soul" and 1972's "Liza With a 'Z'."

Born in New York on April 8, 1933, Ebb attended New York University and Columbia University, where he earned a master's degree in English literature. His long partnership with Kander began in the 1960s. One of Kander and Ebb's first stage musical collaborations was writing the score to the short-lived 1965 musical "Flora, the Red Menace," starring Liza Minnelli, who went on to win a best actress Academy Award for the movie musical "Cabaret." Kander and Ebb won best score Tony Awards for "Cabaret," "Woman of the Year" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman." Kander and Ebb's last Broadway musical together was 1997's "Steel Pier."

Funeral services for Ebb will be held tomorrow (Sept. 14) at an undisclosed location.