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Oscar-winning Songwriter Joseph Brooks Found Dead

Joseph Brooks
In this June 23, 2009 file photo, Oscar-winning songwriter and director Joseph Brooks is shown in New York. Brooks was found dead Sunday, May 22, 2011, of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan apartment, police said. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano, File)
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In this June 23, 2009 file photo, Oscar-winning songwriter and director Joseph Brooks is shown in New York. Brooks was found dead Sunday, May 22, 2011, of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan apartment, police said. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano, File)

Oscar-winning songwriter and filmmaker Joseph Brooks was found dead in his Manhattan apartment Sunday of an apparent suicide, police said. He was 73 years old.

Brooks was awaiting trial on more than 90 charges that accused him of sexually assaulting over a dozen women. He was arrested in 2009 on charges of molesting women after they showed up for what was supposed to be an acting audition. In January, 12 more women accused Brooks of molesting them. He had denied all of the charges.

A friend of Brooks found the body of 1977 Academy Award winner in his apartment after the two were scheduled to meet for lunch together Sunday.

According to CBS New York, Brooks was found with a plastic dry-cleaning bag wrapped around his head and a towel around his neck. A helium tank with a hose attached was also found in the Manhattan apartment.

Police said that it is not clear how long the body had been there, but a suicide note was found at the scene.

Brooks’ song “You Light Up My Life” was released on August 16, 1977, and made famous by singer Debby Boone. The ballad received Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America, where the single sold more than 2 million units. It also won the award for Best Song at the 1977 Academy Awards.

Performers like country singer-songwriter LeAnn Rimes and R&B/pop singer Whitney Houston have also sang their own versions of “You Light Up My Life.”

Along with the award winning single, Brooks directed a movie with the same title, You Light Up My Life. The film was about a comedian who has a one-night stand with a director.

Five months ago his son, Nicholas Brooks, was charged with murdering fashion designer/girlfriend Sylvie Cachay. The younger Brooks pleaded not guilty and is currently being held at Rikers Island without bail.

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