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Obituaries

Broadway's SEXTET Writer Lee Goldsmith Has Passed Away at Age 98.

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The lyricist & book writer is thought to haved paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community on Broadway.

Broadway's SEXTET Writer Lee Goldsmith Has Passed Away at Age 98.

Lee Goldsmith, lyricist and book writer for what is thought to be the first musical on Broadway to feature lead characters who were gay ("Sextet," which played the Bijou Theatre in 1974), died Oct. 5 in Cutler Bay, FL, at the age of 98.

Lee fell in love with musical theatre since seeing Ethel Merman in "Anything Goes" when he was a schoolboy. Early on, Lee began writing revue material, collaborating with Fred Ebb and Paul Klein ("From A to Z," 1960). With composer Lawrence Hurwit, he wrote the landmark "Sextet" and "Gold Diggers of 1633," a musical adaptation of Moliere's "School for Wives" as perhaps envisioned by Busby Berkeley. "Sheba," his and Clint Ballard's 1973 musical adaptation of William Inge's "Come Back, Little Sheba," premiered in Chicago in 1973, starring Kaye Ballard. It was later revived and recorded with Donna McKechnie in 2001. With composer Roger Anderson, 30 years his junior, he wrote "Shine!" (Book by Richard Seff) "Abe" (book and lyrics) and "Chaplin" (an English music hall take on Charlie Chaplin's early career, book by Ernest Kinoy) and other yet produced works. Lee's songs had the simplicity and wit of the best of the Golden Age of Broadway.

Lee also enjoyed an early career with National Comics scripting stories for The Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and The Flash. He continued with other series through the 1960s.

Lee was a long time resident of Miami, happily partnered for 47 years with Larry Sokol, until Larry's death in the 1990s. He is survived by Jeff Haller, his loving husband of 23 years.


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