Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY
Published 3:08 p.m. ET March 24, 2020 | Updated 3:44 p.m. ET March 24, 2020
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Terrence McNally, a four-time Tony Award-winning playwright, has died from complications due to coronavirus.
McNally died Tuesday at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Florida, according to representative Matt Polk. He was 81, and a lung cancer survivor who lived with chronic inflammatory lung disease.
McNally is best known for writing beloved musicals “Ragtime,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “The Full Monty,” as well as plays “Love! Valour! Compassion!” “Master Class” and “Mothers and Sons.” More recently, he penned the musical adaptations of hit movies “Catch Me If You Can” and “Anastasia,” both of which played on Broadway.
As a screenwriter, he wrote 1991’s “Frankie and Johnny,” starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer, and 1976’s “The Ritz,” which starred Rita Moreno and was adapted from his Broadway play.
On Twitter, stars including Jason Alexander and Lin-Manuel Miranda paid tribute to McNally, who received a lifetime achievement Tony Award last year.
“His work was vital, intense, hysterical and rare,” wrote Alexander, who starred in the 1997 film adaptation of “Love! Valour! Compassion!” “My hope is that he will inspire writers for years to come.”
We lost a great artist today. I worked for and with Terrence McNally twice in my life and they were two of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. His work was vital, intense, hysterical and rare. My hope is that he will inspire writers for years to come. #RIPTerrenceMcNally
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) March 24, 2020
“Heartbroken over the loss of Terrence McNally, a giant in our world, who straddled plays and musicals deftly,” Miranda wrote. “Grateful for his staggering body of work and his unfailing kindness.”
Heartbroken over the loss of Terrence McNally, a giant in our world, who straddled plays and musicals deftly. Grateful for his staggering body of work and his unfailing kindness.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 24, 2020
McNally was an openly gay writer who wrote about homophobia, love and AIDS. He is survived by his husband, theater producer Tom Kirdahy.
McNally is one of the first noteworthy figures in entertainment to die from coronavirus (COVID-19), which has ravaged the world with more than 380,000 confirmed cases globally. In the past two weeks, celebrities including Idris Elba, Daniel Dae Kim, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Colton Underwood have all announced that they tested positive for the virus.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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