The writer of “You Light Up My Life”, a huge, sappy hit during the late 1970’s, was found dead in his apartment yesterday afternoon. Joseph Brooks was 73 years old.

“You Light Up My Life” earned Brooks an Academy Award for Best Original Song and earned it’s singer, Debby Boone, a Grammy for Best New Artist.

Brooks was facing a slew of legal charges before his death. Two years ago he was charged with the sexual assault of about a dozen women. The allegations against him involved the rape and molestation of women who had been lured to his apartment with the promise of an acting audition. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

When found by a friend he was to have lunch with, Brooks was sitting on a couch dead. He had a plastic bag from a dry cleaner wrapped around his head, a towel  wrapped around his neck, and a hose connecting the bag to a helium tank. Brooks had a stroke in 2008. According to his lawyer he was in deteriorating health.

Brooks son, Christopher Brooks, is also facing his own legal and personal issues. He is charged with the death of his girlfriend, swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay.

The song “You Light Up My Life” was written as a theme song for a 1977 movie by the same name. In the movie, the song was sung by Kasey Cisyk. It was later released by Debby Boone and rose to number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, staying there for a record breaking 10 weeks. It won Debby Boone a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1978.