Norman Gimbel who wrote Laverne & Shirley theme song dies age 91 just days after star Penny Marshall
Norman Gimbel who co-wrote the theme song to Laverne & Shirley died earlier this month at age 91 just days after the show’s star Penny Marshall.
The Brooklyn native died on December 19 at his home in Montecito, California, his son Tony Gimbel told The Hollywood Reporter in an article on Friday.
Marshall who played Laverne DeFazio on the ABC spin-off died on December 17 at age 75 in Los Angeles from complications of diabetes.
Popular songwriter: Norman Gimbel, shown in June 2011 in Los Angeles, died earlier this month in Montecito, California after a stellar career writing popular songs and TV themes
Gimbel and long-time collaborator Charles Fox, 78, also wrote the theme songs for Happy Days, Angie, Wonder Woman and The Paper Chase.
The Laverne & Shirley theme song Making Our Dreams Come True was performed by one-hit wonder Cyndi Grecco.
Gimbel won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1979 for It Goes Like It Goes co-written by David Shires and performed by Jennifer Warnes on the Norma Rae soundtrack.
He also won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1974 with Fox for their song Killing Me Softly With His Song after it was covered by Roberta Flack.
Theme song: The late Penny Marshall, who died on December 17, is shown as Laverne DeFazio in a 1979 still from the Laverne & Shirley sitcom that featured a theme written by Gimbel
Long-time collaborators: Gimbel is shown with his long-time collaborator Charles Fox in June 2011 in Los Angeles at a benefit concert
The original song was recorded by Lori Lieberman in 1971 and it was covered again as a popular hip-hop version in 1996 by the Fugees.
Gimbel also wrote the Jim Croce song I Got A Name and the English lyrics for the bossa nova jazz song The Girl From Ipanema.
The song featuring Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz won the Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965 and it was added in 2004 by the Library of Congress to the National Recording Registry.
Oscar winner: Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly flanked Oscar winners David Shire and Gimbel at the 52nd annual Academy Awards in April 1980 after they won Best Original Song
Gimbel was inducted in 1984 into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
‘The entertainment industry has lost an incomparable lyricist, and our thoughts go out to his loved ones during this difficult time,’ said Recording Academy president Neil Portnow on Friday in a statement.
Gimbel is survived by his children Tony, Nelly, Peter and Hannah.
Incomparable lyricist: The Brooklyn-native, shown in February 2013 in Santa Barbara, California, was hailed as an ‘incomparable lyricist’ by Recording Academy president Neil Portnow
Hit song: Gimbel is shown in May 1974 with original Killing Me Softly With His Song singer Lori Lieberman in New York City