Legendary Broadway producer Marty Richards has died in New York, aged 80.

Richards passed away from natural causes on Monday (26Nov12), although he had been battling cancer in recent months.

Throughout his career, Richards produced an impressive string of hit shows, including the original productions of Sweeney Todd, La Cage aux Folles and Chicago. He also worked on a handful of Hollywood films, including The Boys From Brazil and The Shining.

He was also a producer of the Oscar-winning 2002 movie adaptation of Chicago, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.

His most recent project, musical Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues, opened at Long Island's Bay Street Theater over the summer (12).

Richards was also a philanthropist who actively supported Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and Meals on Wheels. He also established a liver and kidney transplant unit at the NYU Langone Medical Center and founded the New York Center for Children for abused children and their families.

His funeral is to be held at the Frank Campbell Funeral Chapel in Manhattan.