In 1986, Ashman directed the musical, Smile, for which he also wrote the book and lyrics. Music was written by Marvin Hamlisch. Although Smile was not a critical success, it is generally acknowledged by aficionados as a lost gem of American Musical Theater.
Film critic Janet Maslin wrote of Howard Ashman,“His death from AIDS in March at age 40 cut short a brilliant career, but the jubilant energy of his work will long live on."
Ashman’s contributions to the revival of classic Disney animated musicals have been acknowledged by many but were perhaps best expressed by his colleagues, who dedicated the animated film Beauty and the Beast to his memory: “To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul. He will be forever missed.”
For more information, please visit HowardAshman.com.