Clinton, Minnelli among stars at Hamlisch funeral

FILE - This undated file image originally provided by Columbia Artists Management Inc. LLC shows Marvin Hamlisch. Friends and admirers of Marvin Hamlisch will gather Tuesday morning to bid farewell to the celebrated songwriter who was hailed as "the people's composer." Hamlisch's funeral is to be held at Congregation Emanu-El, a prominent Upper East Side synagogue. The composer died Aug. 6 in Los Angeles at age 68. (AP Photo/Columbia Artists Management Inc. LLC, Jason Cohn)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Friends and admirers of Marvin Hamlisch including Bill Clinton and Ann-Margret gathered Tuesday in New York City to bid farewell to the celebrated songwriter hailed as "the people's composer."

Clinton called Hamlisch, whose casket was covered in yellow flowers, a "great, giving genius." Howard Stringer, head of Sony, called him "the merriest of minstrels."

Hamlisch died Aug. 6 in Los Angeles at age 68.

Other guests included Liza Minnelli, ex-Yankee manager Joe Torre, Idina Menzel, Kelli O'Hara, Raul Esparza, Leslie Uggams, Richard Gere and Tony Danza.

Hamlisch composed or arranged hundreds of scores for musicals and movies, including "A Chorus Line" on Broadway and the films "The Sting," ''Sophie's Choice," ''Ordinary People" and "The Way We Were."

His funeral was held at Congregation Emanu-El, a prominent synagogue where George Gershwin's funeral was held in 1937.