Stephen J. Lawrence, who won an Emmy for his work on ‘Sesame Street’, has passed away. The 82-year-old died on Saturday.
According to his wife Cantor Cathy Lawrence, Lawrence passed away on December 30, at Clara Maas Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey. The reason for his death has not been determined. A composer and music director for over 30 years, Lawrence served for the longtime children’s television series ‘Sesame Street’ as music director, arranger, and conductor. Among the more than 300 songs to appear on the program was ‘Fuzzy and Blue (and Orange)’, co-written with David Axelrod. The show’s music director and composer received three Daytime Emmy award nominations for their work.
The Jim Henson Company commissioned Lawrence to compose the score for ‘The Wubbulous World of Dr Seuss’ due to his interest in children’s education. With Granville Burgess, he founded in 1998 the nonprofit Quill Entertainment Company.
Lawrence is also known for his work on the 1972 album ‘Free to Be You and Me’, which served as both musical director and co-music producer.
Aside from ‘Bang the Drum Slowly’ (1973), cult film ‘Alice, Sweet Alice’ (1976), the live-action musical ‘Red Riding Hood’, as well as 1991 HBO animated musical ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’, starring Carol Burnett, other credits include cult classics ‘Bang the Drum Slowly’, ‘One Summer Love’, ‘Alice, Sweet Alice’, and ‘Mary Poppins Returns.
The Paris Festival of Fantasy and Science Fiction awarded him the 1977 Music Prize for his score to AKA Communion (1976).
For the movie ‘Sooner or Later’ (1979), Lawrence wrote four songs, including the gold single ‘You Take My Breath Away.’
The family of Lawrence is composed of his wife Cantor Cathy Lawrence, brother Robert, daughter Hannah Jones Anderson, son-in-law Seth Anderson, grandson Arthur, and stepsons Sam and Nick Kline.
(With inputs from ANI)