Playwright and lyricist for such Disney films as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, usually with Alan Menken.
He worked as an artistic director for a theatre in New York. He first collaborated with Menken on God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater in 1979.
He was named a Disney Legend in 2001. His first assignment with the company was on Oliver & Company from 1988.
He won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his work on Aladdin in 1992, which was accepted by his life partner Bill Lauch after Ashman's passing in 1991.
He and Menken also collaborated on the 1982 musical Little Shop of Horrors, which was based on The Little Shop of Horrors from 1960, a low-budget movie directed by Roger Corman.