Andrew Lloyd Webber detailed the last moments he spent with his son who died on hospice late last month from stomach cancer.
“An apple a day, if well aimed, keeps the doctor away,” the “Phantom of the Opera” composer recalled telling his late son Nicholas “Nick” Lloyd Webber while he was on hospice in March, quoting English humorist P.G. Wodehouse.
“I was speaking in P.G. Wodehouse quotes with my eldest son, Nick, who was in hospice, where he was being treated for cancer just days ago,” Webber continued in his op-ed for the New York Times Monday.
He said Nick laughingly replied, “Here’s one for you.” Webber then stated his son, who was also a composer, “had surmised that, after bulletins from New York, his father, as Wodehouse might have put it, was less than gruntled.”
“‘Has anybody ever seen a dramatic critic in the daytime?’” he added, continuing to quote Wodehouse. “‘Of course not. They come out after dark, up to no good.’”
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s son Nicholas died of gastric cancer last month. (Getty Images)
He then wrote poignantly, “We hugged and said our goodbyes.”
He continued in the op-ed, which was mainly about “The Phantom of the Opera” closing on Broadway after 35 years, “The next day, my son died. Nothing’s worse for a parent than the death of a child. In my bones I feel it wrong to write about the closing of “Phantom” or where Broadway’s going right now.”
Webber added, “This has been a season of goodbyes, personal and public.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber with his wife Madeleine and his late son Nick in 2007. Webber shared Nick with ex-wife Sarah Hugill, to whom he was married from 1971 to 1983. Webber and Hugill also have a daughter, Imogen Lloyd Webber, 45. (Photo by Nick Harvey/WireImage)
The “Jesus Christ Superstar” composer announced his son’s death at 43 on March 25, after an 18-month battle with gastric cancer.
“I am shattered to have to announce that my beloved elder son Nick died a few hours ago in Basingstoke Hospital,” he wrote on his social media at the time. “His whole family is gathered together and we are all totally bereft.”
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Webber shared Nick with ex-wife Sarah Hugill, to whom he was married from 1971 to 1983. Webber and Hugill also have a daughter, Imogen Lloyd Webber, 45.
He also has three younger children from other relationships.
Days before Nick died, Webber, in a social video, said that his son had been moved to hospice after getting pneumonia.
Andrew Lloyd Webber dedicated the final performance of “Phantom of the Opera” on Sunday to his son. (Bruce Glikas)
“He’s now been moved into a hospice, and he’s battling away,” he said. “I think he’s over the worst of this first bout of pneumonia that he’s got as a result of his cancer, which is just ghastly. We’re all here, and the family here has gathered around, and it was the right place for us all to be I think.”
The six-time Tony Award winner said he was “absolutely gutted” that he had to miss the opening night of his new musical “Bad Cinderella” but said “my place is really here in England at the moment.”
Webber dedicated “The Phantom of the Opera”’s last show on Sunday to his son.
“I hope you won’t mind if I dedicate this performance to my son, Nick,” he told the audience. “When Nick was a little boy, he heard some of this music.”
“Yes, he did,” “Phantom” star Sarah Brightman agreed. “When Andrew was writing it, he was right there. So his soul is with us. Nick, we love you very much.”