Catherine Zeta-Jones to ‘cherish every moment’ in emotional message following devastating loss

Catherine Zeta-Jones paid tribute as she mourns the loss of a musical theatre icon.

Catherine Zeta-Jones attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A. LIVE on September 19, 2021
(Image credit: Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Catherine Zeta-Jones has revealed she’ll be cherishing “every moment” as she shared a heartbreaking message following the devastating loss of a true musical theatre legend. 

The Oscar-winning actor took to Instagram to pay tribute to the late Stephen Sondheim, who passed away aged 91 on November 26th. Fans of Catherine’s work, from her athleisure clothing line to her singing and acting, will no doubt still remember her spine-tingling rendition of Stephen’s moving ballad, Send in the Clowns, at the 2010 Tony Awards. She was also the proud recipient of the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical at the ceremony for her role as Desirée Armfeldt in the first ever revival of Stephen’s musical, A Little Night Music.

The Welsh star’s stand-out performance in this romantic musical was also her Broadway debut. Now the actor has revealed she will “cherish every moment” she ever shared with Stephen, following the news of his death. 

Sharing a selection of heartfelt pictures, the actor declared in her caption, “R.I.P. dearest Stephen Sondheim. I will cherish each and every moment I shared with you.” 

Catherine Zeta-Jones’ emotional message then went on to recount the lyrics to what is perhaps one of Stephen’s most famous songs and certainly one that’s very meaningful for the actor herself given her former role. 

“Send in the clowns'😢🎼'isn't it rich, are we a pair, me here at last on the ground, you in mid air.......Send in the clowns'🙏”, she wrote. 

The first snap shared by Catherine showed her and Stephen together, beaming as they promoted the cast recording of A Little Night Music in New York back in 2010. The other will likely delight musical fans, giving a glimpse of her as Desirée Armfeldt alongside Dame Angela Lansbury as Madame Armfeldt, in the Broadway show. 

Composer Stephen Sondheim and actors Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angela Lansbury and Alexander Hanson promote A Little Night Music Broadway Cast Recording at the Walter Kerr Theatre on April 6, 2010

Composer Stephen Sondheim and actors Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angela Lansbury and Alexander Hanson promote A Little Night Music Broadway Cast Recording at the Walter Kerr Theatre on April 6, 2010.

(Image credit: Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage via Getty)

The late Stephen Sondheim was a lyricist and composer best-known for writing some of the world’s best-known stage works, including Follies, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the lyrics for West Side Story’s brilliant songs. His lawyer told the New York Times that Sondheim passed away on Friday, November 26th, at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut.

Catherine’s immense sadness at the loss of such an icon in the musical theatre industry was mirrored by many other stars. Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney was amongst those others who celebrated Stephen’s remarkable life and legacy.

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim receives the Freedom of the City of London by the City of London Corporation in recognition of his outstanding contribution to musical theatre at The Guildhall on September 27, 2018

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim receives the Freedom of the City of London by the City of London Corporation in recognition of his outstanding contribution to musical theatre at The Guildhall on September 27, 2018.

(Image credit: Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Taking to the official Paul McCartney Twitter account, he echoed Catherine’s sentiments and also went on to reflect upon the success and enduring impact of Send in the Clowns.

He wrote, “Very sad to hear of the passing of the great Stephen Sondheim. I was fortunate to meet him and chat about songwriting. He was a witty intelligent man. 'Send in the Clowns' is one of my favourite songs. So well crafted and beautiful with it.“

“We have lost a great talent but his music will live long and prosper. Goodbye Stephen, we love you. Paul x”, the musician added.  

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Whilst Idina Menzel, who voiced Disney icon Elsa from Frozen, shared, “Goodbye dear sir. We will spend our lives trying to make you proud. #stephensondheim”. 

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"Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest," Tweeted Hollywood star Hugh Jackman. 

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Catherine Zeta-Jones’ emotional message in tribute to this legendary composer and lyricist joins these many others and celebrates the remarkable success and warmth of the extraordinary Stephen Sondheim.  

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!