On Tuesday morning, Schlesinger's longtime attorney Josh Grier said that he had been admitted to a hospital in upstate New York the week prior. "He's very sick and is heavily sedated, as are all people on ventilators, but no one has used the word 'coma' to me," Grier had said about his condition. Schlesinger is perhaps best known for his work with the pop band Fountains of Wayne, the Grammy-nominated band which he co-founded with Chris Collingwood. They released five albums between 1996 and 2011 including 2003's Welcome Interstate Managers, which featured their smash hit "Stacey's Mom."
However, Schlesinger's work as a songwriter and composer had earned him both recognition and accolades off the stage, as well.
He served as the executive music producer for the comedy series My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which earned him five Emmy nominations out of his career total of 10. He took one home in 2018 for his work on the show's infectious song "Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal," along with creator/star Rachel Bloom, and composer Jack Dolgen. He also picked up a Grammy win for best comedy album for his work on A Stephen Colbert Christmas back in 2008.
Schlesinger had also become an EGOT contender, racking up Oscar and Tony nominations throughout his career. His Oscar nomination was for his work on the 1997 pop music comedy That Thing You Do!, which he co-wrote with director Tom Hanks, who himself tested positive for coronavirus along with wife Rita Wilson earlier in March.
His Tony nominations came in 2008 for the musical Cry-Baby, which is an adaptation of the John Waters 1990 musical. He'd also collaborated with comedian Sarah Silverman for an off-Broadway musical, The Bedwetter, which was previously scheduled to open in the spring.
Schlesinger is survived by his two daughters.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been a total of 213,372 reported cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 4,757 confirmed deaths. On Sunday, President Donald Trump has extended the current social distancing guidelines through the month of April. The guidelines encourage staying at home as often as possible, washing your hands frequently, and keeping your house and car clean to help slow the spread of coronavirus.