“Chicago” Producer Marty Richards Dies at 80

Broadway and film producer and beloved Southampton resident Marty Richards died on Monday, November 26. He was 80 years old

Richards won an Academy Award in 2002 for producing the hit musical film Chicago, and he produced numerous Broadway plays, including the original Chicago, La Cage aux Folles, Crimes of the Heart and Sweeny Todd. He won Tony Awards for La Cage aux Folles and the 2005 revival of the show, as well as for The Norman Conquests, The Life, The Will Rogers Follies and Sweeny Todd.

Along with his talents as a producer, Richards was a philanthropist who supported a variety of causes and charities. He and his late wife Mary Lea Johnson (of the Band-Aid Johnsons) were key founders of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Meals on Wheels. Richards also founded NYU Langone Medical Center’s Mary Lea Johnson Richards Organ Transplant Center and the New York Center for Children, a place for abused children and their families to get care.

In the Hamptons, Richards was considered a joy to be around by most, and his lavish parties and generous ways earned him the number four spot on New York magazine’s “6 Most Gracious Hosts on the East End.” The story said Richards’ parties at his Gin Lane estate would start at 9 p.m. and end the following day. He even treated all his guests to a tank of gas from his own pump on their way out.

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

Funeral services will be held at Frank Campbell Funeral Chapel at 1076 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Visiting hours will be 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28 and from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, November 29.

Marty Richards by Barry Gordin 3

photo credit: Barry Gordin

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