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JULE STYNE DIES; WROTE `GYPSY,' `FUNNY GIRL'

Composer Jule Styne, whose brash Broadway musicals included "Gypsy" and "Funny Girl," died Tuesday. He was 88.

Styne won an Oscar and a Tony and wrote 1,500 songs during his seven-decade career, which continued into the 1990s. He gave both Barbra Streisand and Carol Channing their signature songs - "People" and "Diamonds Are a Girl's Friend," respectively.Styne was the last link to such master composers as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Richard Rodgers, who honed their craft on Broadway in the 1920s and '30s and whose tunes were the pop music of the day.

Styne's masterpiece was "Gypsy," written for Ethel Merman, who played the domineering mother of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. The 1959 musical, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, includes the defiant "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and the lyrical "Small World."

He won an Academy Award for "Three Coins in the Fountain," from the 1954 movie of the same name, and a Tony for "Hallelujah Baby" in 1968. "People," from "Funny Girl," was a hit for Streisand in 1964.