His death comes two years after Brooks was charged in the sexual assault of about a dozen women, and five months after his son, Christopher Brooks, was charged in the death of his former girlfriend in a separate case.
Brooks, 73, was found by a friend who was supposed to have lunch with him at his home, the NYPD told CNN. He was near a helium tank with a tube attached into a dry cleaning bag, and a towel wrapped around his head and neck, according to police. He left a suicide note.
Released in 1977, "You Light Up My Life" was the theme song of a film of the same name that Brooks also directed. The ballad was performed by Kasey Cisyk before the Debby Boone rendition soared to the top of the charts.
Brooks won Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy awards for the tune. He directed two films after You Light Up My Life, and later composed music and wrote lyrics for the stage.