Carly Simon is mourning the death of her two older sisters, Lucy and Joanna Simon, who died one day apart after both had been battling cancer.
The eldest of the Simon sisters, Joanna Simon — who was a famed opera singer and an Emmy-winning TV correspondent — died Wednesday of thyroid cancer at 85, according to Carly Simon’s manager Larry Ciancia. Lucy Simon, who composed Broadway musical “The Secret Garden,” died Thursday at 82 after batting breast cancer, Ciancia also confirmed.
“Their loss will be long and haunting. As sad as this day is, it’s impossible to mourn them without celebrating their incredible lives,” Carly Simon said in a statement obtained by USA TODAY Saturday.
“We were three sisters who not only took turns blazing trails and marking courses for one another, we were (each other’s) secret shares. The co-keepers of each other’s memories.”
The siblings were born to publishing giant Richard Simon of Simon & Schuster and his wife, Andrea. Their brother Peter, a photographer, died at 71 of cancer in 2018.
“I have no words to explain the feeling of suddenly being the only remaining direct offspring of Richard and Andrea Simon,” the “You’re So Vain” singer’s statement continued. “They touched everyone they knew and those of us they’ve left behind will be lucky and honoured to carry their memories forward.”
Joanna rose to fame in the opera world and as a concert performer in the 1960s. She was a frequent guest on TV talk shows. After her retirement from singing, she became an arts correspondent for PBS’s “MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour,” where she won an Emmy in 1991 for a report on mental illness and creativity.
The eldest Simon sister was married to novelist and journalist Gerald Walker from 1976 until his death in 2004 and was the companion of Walter Cronkite from 2005 until his death in 2009.
Carly and Lucy once performed together as the Simon Sisters, opening for other acts in Greenwich Village folk clubs.
After marrying and having children, Lucy Simon recorded two solo albums, “Lucy Simon” (1975) and “Stolen Time” (1977), for RCA. Lucy and her husband, David Levine, produced two Grammy-winning children’s albums, “In Harmony” (1981) and “In Harmony 2” (1983).
Members of the Broadway community, including actors Steven Pasquale, Jessica Vosk and Sierra Boggess, wrote condolence messages.
“RIP, Lucy Simon. So sad to hear this news. A great woman and writer. That Secret Garden score goes right in the pantheon,” Pasquale wrote on Twitter.
“The Secret Garden was the first show I saw on Broadway. It remains my favourite score. It’s where I fell in love with Rebecca Luker. And it was all due to the brilliant musical mind of Lucy Simon. You will be sorely missed,” Vosk wrote.
“Her music is her gift to the world. In one of her last messages to me she said ‘I was going to ask you to carry my voice onward’ and I sat and wept,” Boggess wrote on Instagram.