The Real Housewives of New Jersey star, who lost her mom Antonia Gorga in March 2017 following a battle with pneumonia, shared a heartfelt tribute to her dad on Instagram. “My father, my protector, my hero, God took you early this morning to be with mommy, I saw you peacefully pass & I know you kept fighting for my daughters and I,” she wrote. “I have so many amazing thoughts of you, every day seeing you in the kitchen at my home, teaching my girls to cook, my partner in crime on shopping trips, your love of the shore & my travel buddy. You always wanted everyone to have a good time, eat great food, have a stiff drink and enjoy life.”
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The musician’s lawyer, Josh Grier, confirmed his death to Rolling Stone on April 1. Schlesinger had been hospitalized and placed on a ventilator. Schlesinger won three Emmys throughout his career: one for writing lyrics for Rachel Bloom’s hit CW musical series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and two for his lyrical contributions to the 2011 and 2012 Tony Awards telecasts. He also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for his title track to the 1996 film That Thing You Do! Celebrities including Tom Hanks, late-night TV hosts Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel and more paid tribute to the late musician on social media. His mother Marlyse Williams confirmed his passing to The Tri-City News — a local newspaper serving the areas near Coquitlam, British Columbia, in Canada — sharing that her family is “absolutely devastated” by the death.