Herbert Kretzmer dies at the age of 95


The 95 years old lyricist as well as journalist, Herbert Kretzmer has died recently. He was well known for his adaptation of the musical Les Misérables in the English language. On October 14, his family confirmed the news of his demise. The 95 years old was suffering from a long illness with Parkinson’s disease.

Sources reveal that he died in his home in London, which he shared with his second wife Sybil Sever. After his death, many celebrities poured tributes on the London stage. Even lyricist Tim Rice, singer Elaine Paige, as well as theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh talked about him.

Mackintosh, who is Les Misérables producer, said that in October 1985, Kretzmer brought Victor Hugo’s classic tale of defiance and redemption to the stage in English.

He continued that the 95 years old’s used wonderful words in Les Misérables, and it will stay in his memory forever. Singer Elaine Paige also said that the 95 years old was a masterful wordsmith. Besides, lyricist Tim Rice said that he was a giant of his trade, a man of the theatre, as well as a great lyricist. 

Herbert Kretzmer’s Journey

Born in October 1925, in Kroonstad, which is a small town south of Johannesburg, South Africa, Herbert Kretzmer was called Herbie by his friends. He was the son of Jewish-Lithuanian immigrants and had three siblings.

His family had a grocery shop, then owned a furniture store. His childhood was very blissful, and at the age of 11, he decided to become a newspaperman because he wanted to be closer to the heroes on the TV screen.

In 1953, he moved to Paris, from Johannesburg. For a daily meal, he played piano at a bar. After a year, he went to London to fulfill his dreams. He became the heart of the movie action. He became a journalist at Daily Mail as well as the Daily Express.

Even during his journalistic career, the music was still close to him. In the 1960s, every week, he wrote new songs on BBC’s ground-breaking satirical show known as That Was The Week That Was

His career began to rise after writing songs for the show. After decades, he finally stepped into the world of television. Some of his songs had poignant tone such as In the Summer of His Years, which was a tribute to President John F. Kennedy.

The lyrics were written hours after the President got assassinated on November 22, 1963. The 95 years old’s other songs had humorous tones too in songs like Goodness Gracious Me.

Final Words

So this is how Herbert Kretzmer’s journey began, and the rest is history. It is sad to see him leave his fans, but he enjoyed his life to the fullest. We will be back with another article, so stay tuned!


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