Carly Simon Loses Both Sisters to Cancer in One Week

by Suzanne Halliburton
carly-simon-loses-both-sisters-to-cancer-in-one-week
Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Fans were offering condolences to legendary singer Carly Simon, who lost both her sisters within 24 hours. Both suffered from cancer.

Joanna Simon died from thyroid cancer. She was 84. Lucy Simon passed away from breast cancer at the age of 82.

And all three Simon sisters enjoyed brilliant musical careers. Lucy was a Broadway composer who also could sing. She and Carly Simon performed together as the folk group The Simon Sisters in the early 1960s. They recorded the single “Wynken, Blynken & Nod.”

Lucy went to nursing school in the late 60s. But she returned to music and recorded two albums, Lucy Simon and Stolen Time. Carly Simon and her then husband, James Taylor, provided backup vocals on a number of songs on Stolen Time. She even won two Grammys with her husband, David Levine, in the 1980s for Best Recording for Children.

By the early 90s, she was composing for Broadway. Her debut was for The Secret Garden in 1991. Critics loved her work so much that she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score and a Drama Desk Award nom for Outstanding Score. Lucy Simon also was well known for her work on the HBO film The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom. She wrote and produced the movie. Before she was diagnosed with cancer, she was working on the musical adaption of Netflix movie Our Souls At Night.

Carly Simon poses with her sisters Joanna and Lucy in 1982. Joanna and Lucy both died of cancer a day apart this week. (Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)

Oldest Sister of Carly Simon Sang Opera, Won Emmy, Dated Walter Cronkite

Joanna Simon was the oldest sister in the family. She was a talented opera singer, performing from the early 1960s through 1986, when she retired. Joanna sang with the New York Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She probably was best known for her lead role in Black Widow in 1972.

After her retirement, Joanna began working as an arts correspondent for the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour on PBS. She won an Emmy in 1991 for her reporting on bi-polar disorder and creativity. She also dated legendary anchorman Walter Cronkite from 2005 until his death in 2009.

Carly Simon, with her sisters and younger brother, grew up in the Bronx. Their father, Richard Simon, was a co-founder of publisher giant Simon and Schuster. Andrea Simon, their mother, was a singer and civil rights activist.

Carly Simon fans tweeted their condolences to the heart-broken singer.

“I just read that Carly Simon lost two sisters to cancer this week. Lucy and Joanna, one Wed, the other Thurs. Crushing. May they rest in peace, and all love and deepest condolences to Carly Simon.”

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