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Howard Ashman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (10)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Died in St. Vincent's Hospital, Harrison, New York, USA  (AIDS-related complications)
Birth NameHoward Elliot Ashman

Mini Bio (1)

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Howard Ashman moved to New York City in 1974 and began writing plays while working as an editor in a publishing house. His work attracted attention and he became WPA Theatre's artist director in 1977. In 1982, Ashman collaborated with composer Alan Menken on the musical "Little Shop of Horrors", one of off-Broadway's highest-grossing musicals. The team of Ashman and Menken shifted their focus to movies, creating some of the songs for The Little Mermaid (1989). One of them, "Under the Sea", won an Oscar in 1989 for best song. Ashman then wrote the lyrics for the songs in the Disney animated musical hit Beauty and the Beast (1991), and he and Menken won another Oscar for the title song. However, two days after he won an Oscar for "Under the Sea" Ashman confided in Menken that he had AIDS. Despite the terminal illness that was making him weaker every day, Ashman never stopped composing songs. He even turned out more songs for a third Disney animated musical, Aladdin (1992), before his death from AIDS on March 14, 1991, at the age of 40.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A. Nonymous

Trade Mark (2)

His witty lyrics
Collaborations with Alan Menken

Trivia (10)

Beauty and the Beast (1991) includes a dedication to Ashman in its end credits: "To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul. We will be forever grateful.".
The team of Lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken ended with Howard's death at age 40. The team received an Oscar for the song "Under The Sea" from The Little Mermaid (1989).
Ashman was the first AIDS victim to receive a posthumous Oscar. He won for the title song to Beauty and the Beast (1991) and the award was accepted by his partner Bill Lauch.
His headstone reads "O that he would have but one more song to sing"
He was awarded the 1998 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for "Beauty and the Beast", performed at the Dominion Theatre, as the Best New Musical of the 1997 season.
Ashman was nominated three times for Broadway's Tony Award: in 1987, as Best Book (Musical) for "Smile;" and twice posthumously: in 1994 for Best Original Music Score, with music by Alan Menken and other lyrics by Tim Rice for "Beauty and the Beast," and in 2008 for Best Original Score, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics co-written by Glenn Slater, for "The Little Mermaid.".
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 3, 1991-1993, pages 33-35. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.
When Aladdin (1992) was adapted into a Broadway musical, Howard Ashman was nominated for a 2014 Tony Award for Best Original Score--more than two decades after his death--for the songs he had written for the movie.
Alan Menken and his musical, "The Beauty and the Beast," was awarded the 2005 Joseph Jefferson Equity Award for Musical Production.
Alan Menken and his musical, "Little Shop of Horrors" at the American Blues Theater in Chicago, Illinois was nominated for a 2016 Joseph Jefferson (Equity) Award for Midsize Musical Production.

Personal Quotes (1)

You've got all these classics. You know, Pinocchio (1940), Sleeping Beauty (1959), Cinderella (1950) and to make something that fits comfortably on the shelf with all those? What a difficult thing to do but it's such a great thing to try to do.

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