Songwriter Joseph Brooks, 73, an apparent suicide

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Joseph Brooks

Joseph Brooks

Oscar-winning song­writer Joseph Brooks, who com­posed the hit “You Light Up My Life,” was found dead Sun­day in his New York apart­ment. Brooks, 73, appar­ently killed him­self, police said.

His body was found at about 12:30 p.m. at his apart­ment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side by a friend with whom he had planned to have lunch, accord­ing to police.

In the 1991 Simp­sons episode I Mar­ried Marge, his iconic tune was per­formed by Debby Boone, Dan Castel­lan­eta and Julie Kavner. Brooks won his 1977 Acad­emy Award for com­pos­ing the Boone bal­lad, which was fea­tured in the film of the same name. Brooks wrote and directed the movie as well.

At the time of his death, Brooks was await­ing trial fol­low­ing a 2009 not-guilty plea to charges that he raped and sex­u­ally abused at least 11 women.

The Man­hat­tan dis­trict attor­ney charges that Brooks duped would-be actresses into com­ing to his apart­ment in the belief that they were audi­tion­ing for a role. Often, the women responded to a notice that Brooks had posted on Craigslist and flew to New York from across the United States at Brooks’ expense, the dis­trict attorney’s account said.

Police said Sun­day that a plas­tic bag was wrapped around Brooks’ head. As well, police stated, a helium tank with a hose attach­ment was found at the scene and may have been used in the appar­ent suicide.

Although they said they found a sui­cide note, they would not dis­cuss its con­tents. An offi­cial autopsy will be done on the body.

Last Decem­ber, Brooks’ son Nicholas was charged with second-degree mur­der after for­mer girl­friend Sylvie Cachay, a 33-year-old swimwear designer, was found dead in a bath­tub at an upscale New York hotel. He has pleaded not guilty.

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