Lloyd Webber was born on March 22, 1948 in South Kensington, England. He
was the son of composer William Lloyd Webber and piano teacher Jean
Johnstone Lloyd Webber and brother of cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, born in
1951. He was a Queen's Scholar of Westminster School and went up to
Magdalen College, Oxford but did not graduate.
His first wife was Sarah Hugill. They married on July 24, 1972 and had two
children, Imogen (born March 31, 1977) and Nicholas (born July 2, 1979).
Lloyd Webber and Hugill were divorced in 1983. He then married singer and
dancer Sarah Brightman on March 22, 1984. He cast Brightman as the lead in
The Phantom of the Opera, however the marriage didn't last, and they
divorced in 1990, though remaining friends. He married his present wife,
Madeleine Gurdon, on February 1, 1991, and had three more children: Alastair
(born May 3, 1992), William (born August 24, 1993), and Isabella (born April
He was knighted in 1992 and created a life peer in 1997 as Baron
Lloyd-Webber, of Sydmonton in the County of Hampshire.
Andrew Lloyd Webber first gained success at the age of 19, when he and Tim
Rice were commissioned to write Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat for a high school in 1968. The musical was a hit; a slightly
rewritten version was soon produced by the Edinburgh Festival. Lloyd
Webber and Rice continued to collaborate and later produced Jesus Christ
Superstar (1970) and Evita (1976), both of which were released as albums
before being brought to the stage. The two parted ways soon after, and Lloyd
Webber's next large success was 1981's Cats. Webber defied convention by
writing the score to existing lyrics, rather than the other way around. The
lyrics were based on T.S. Eliot's 1939 Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats,
which Lloyd Webber confessed was a childhood favourite. To date Cats has
been the longest running Broadway musical, spanning a reign of more than
twenty years. Next, he wrote Starlight Express, which was a commercial hit
but panned by the critics. In 1986, he premiered his newest musical, The
Phantom of the Opera, inspired by the 1911 Gaston Leroux novel.
He was asked to write a piece for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics entitled
Amigos Para Siempre.
His many other musical theatre works include Aspects of Love, Sunset
Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, Song and Dance, and The Beautiful Game.
Many of his stage musicals have been taken onto the big screen. Jesus Christ
Superstar (1973) was directed by Norman Jewison, Evita (1996) was directed
by Alan Parker, and most recently The Phantom of the Opera was directed by
Joel Schumacher (and co-produced by Lloyd Webber).
He has also composed for film. In 1984 he took a different music style and
composed a requiem in memory of his father who had died in 1982.
Lloyd Webber produced Bombay Dreams with Indian composer AR Rahman
in 2002. His most recent show is The Woman in White (2004).