Referred to as "Another Walt (Disney)" by Walt's brother Roy, Howard Ashman is more regularly dubbed one of Disney's Heroes of the 20th Century.
A phenomenal American playwright and lyricist Ashman first studied at Boston University and Indiana University.
His work partner in crime at Disney, Alan Menken composed the music while Howard wrote the lyrics.
Most notable award winning films/songs:
- The Little Mermaid - 'Part of Your World', 'Kiss the Girl', 'Poor Unfortunate Souls', and 'Under the Sea'
- Beauty and the Beast - 'Be Our Guest', 'Gaston', and 'Beauty and the Beast' and also a deleted song 'Human Again'
- Aladdin - 'Arabian Nights', 'Prince Ali', 'Friend Like Me', and also a deleted song 'Proud of Your Boy'
On March 10, 1991, after the Disney animators had their first screening for Beauty and the Beast (which was an huge success) they visited Howard in the hospital where, his mother showed them that he was wearing a Beauty and the Beast sweatshirt in support. He died 4 days later. The film Beauty and the Beast is dedicated to him: "To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful. Howard Ashman 1950–1991."
Another random fact: he is the lyricist of "Codinome Beija-Flor" and "O Tempo Não Para", two of the biggest hits of the Brazilian rock singer Cazuza, who also died of AIDS, 9 months before Howard in 1990.