Martin Richards, one of the men behind Oscar-winning movie musical Chicago and several Broadway hits, has lost his battle with cancer.

Richards died last week (26Nov12), aged 80.

Plays and musicals he produced won 36 Tony Awards. They included Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Tommy Tune's Grand Hotel and La Cage Aux Folles.

Richards performed on Broadway as a child in the mid-1940s and he became a cabaret regular in the 1950s.

Although married to Johnson & Johnson heiress Mary Lea Johnson, the producer was openly gay.

He also co-produced classic movies The Boys From Brazil and The Shining.

Richards turned 80 at the beginning of 2012 - his birthday party was hosted by Michael Douglas and Chicago star Catherine Zeta-Jones. Douglas and the late Mary Lea Johnson were cousins.

Robert De Niro, Rob Marshall and Steve Guttenberg were among the guests at the bash.