Refresh for updates Bette Midler, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hugh Jackman and Barbra Streisand have added their remembrances to the continuing roster of condolences for Craig Zadan, the producer who ushered in a new era of musicals for a television audience. Zadan, whose credits include televised stagings of the Midler-starring Gypsy in 1993, The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and Jesus Christ Superstar, among many others, died Tuesday of complications following shoulder replacement surgery.
“So much is going on in all our lives,” Midler tweeted today, “but I do want to note the death yesterday of a wonderful man and a great friend, Craig Zadan, who was utterly devoted to restoring the American musical to its rightful place in our hearts. Thank you, Craig…”
In a statement to Deadline, Kristin Chenoweth wrote, “I always called Craig Zadan, together with his partner Neil Meron, my big brothers in show business. They helped guide my career. We were always proud of each other. Craig taught me how important loyalty is with his unwavering love and support for those he believed in. He was always there with a hug. This is a huge loss in my life and also for Broadway, television, and film. Craig handled movie musicals with such respect. He isn’t replaceable, and his legacy lives on. What can I say? I’m devastated.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert was a critical and ratings hit last Easter (he’s pictured above with Zadan and Neil Meron), released the following statement today: “I first met Craig in 1977 and we formed a great friendship at the time which I was hugely glad to resume over his fantastic production of Jesus Christ Superstar for NBC. Craig, Neil Meron, and I were planning other projects and I have lost a friend and valued colleague. Music will be the poorer without him.”
Hollywood and Broadway began tweeting their memories last night as news spread of Zadan’s death. Today, the tributes continue.
Among the other tweets arriving today are condolences from Hugh Jackman, Octavia Spencer, Laura Dern and Dear Evan Hanson‘s Michael Park. Deadline will periodically add others as they arrive.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Former AMPAS President: “I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of my esteemed colleague, Craig Zaden. He was a prolific producer, collaborator and friend,” says former Academy President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “I had the privilege of working with Craig [and Neil Meron] as producers of the Oscar telecasts. My heart goes out to his partner, Elwood Hopkins, and his extended family. His showmanship and professionalism will be missed by all.”
Sony Pictures Television: “We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our friend Craig Zadan. His talents were unparalleled and not only was he a wonderful producing partner but part of the Sony Pictures Television family for over 25 years. Craig and Neil have produced television films for SPT, from the acclaimed ‘Serving in Silence,’ this year’s Emmy nominated ‘Flint,’ among others such as ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ ‘The Beach Boys,’ ‘Brian’s Song,’ and the television series ‘Drop Dead Diva.’ Craig was a fiercely passionate producer who brought wonderful talent to his projects such as Glenn Close, Judy Davis, Sean Combs, Queen Latifah, Sean Hayes just to name a few. He will be greatly missed.”