Terrence McNally, Tony-Winning Playwright, Dies at 81 from Complications of Coronavirus



In between those works, McNally tackled other hot-topic issues with plays produced off Broadway and on, his earlier works earning a reputation for the their satirical take on moral complacency in America.

Other works opened McNally up to a much broader audience, including the 1982 farce It’s Only a Play and the 1982 romance Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, which was later adapted into a hit 1991 movie with Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Eventually, McNally became a go-to collaborator for penning books to musicals. His first credited Broadway musical was 1984’s The Rink, a project he collaborated on with composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb. He partnered with them on 1992’s Kiss of the Spider Woman and 2015’s The Visit.

Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens were also frequent collaborators. He worked with them to write the librettos to Ragtime (1996), A Man of No Importance (2002), Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life (2005), and Anastasia (2016).

The scripts other popular films were adapted into staged musicals by McNally: The Full Monty (2000) and Catch Me If You Can (2011).

Along the way, McNally picked up many awards, including four Tony awards — two for best play (Love! Valour! Compassion! and 1995’s Master Class) and two for best book of a musical (Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime). He was also honored with a lifetime achievement Tony in 2019.

In 1990, McNally won an Emmy for best writing in a miniseries or special for Andre’s Mother, a drama starring Richard Thomas, Sada Thompson, and Sylvia Sidney about a woman coping with her son’s death from AIDS.

McNally is survived by his husband Tom Kirdahy. Thee longtime pair were first partnered n a civil union ceremony in Vermont on December 20, 2003, before getting married in Washington, D.C. on April 6, 2010.

Other surviving family members include brother Peter McNally and his wife Vicky McNally; their son Stephen McNally and his wife Carmen McNally and their daughter Kylie McNally; Mother-in-Law Joan Kirdahy, sister/brother-in-laws Carol Kirdahy, Kevin Kirdahy and his wife Patricia, James Kirdahy and his wife Nora, Kathleen Kirdahy Kay, Neil Kirdahy and his wife Sue.

As of Tuesday morning, coronavirus has taken the lives of at least 615 patients in the United States since its outbreak in January, The New York Times reported. At least 49,619 people across every state, plus Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories, have tested positive for the virus.

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