The coronavirus has claimed a legend. Terrace McNally, the Tony Award-winning playwright and librettist, died today in Sarasota, Florida of coronavirus complications.
McNally was 81 years old and a survivor of lung cancer who also suffered from chronic pulmonary disease. Both these conditions put him at a particularly high risk for death from the coronavirus, which attacks the lungs and respiratory system. He is survived by his husband, Tom Kirhardy.
McNally was a giant of the theater world, whose plays and librettos spanned a massive and influential career over six decades. The goal of his work was to create community and connection, despite race, gender, religion, and sexuality. His credits are varied, from Kiss of the Spider Woman to Ragtime, Love! Valor! Compassion! to Mothers and Sons, The Full Monty to Anastasia.
This is a loss that is deeply and painfully felt by the Broadway community, especially given that the lights of Broadway are already dark due to the coronavirus shutdown.
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
When I was a still (mostly) closeted 17 year old, I did a Terrence McNally monologue, playing an openly gay man, for all of my theatre school auditions. His plays gave me a glimpse @ the freer, better future I’m lucky to be living today—and for that, I’ll always be grateful. #RIP https://t.co/nuOOZtjnnl
— Ben Lewis (@benlewishere) March 24, 2020
Saddened to hear of the passing of Terrence McNally. He was an absolute gentleman and his commitment to the theatre was unwavering. He will be missed by so many of us x
— James Corden (@JKCorden) March 24, 2020
Please remember the brilliant Terrence McNally, “The playwright leaves a legacy of slowly changing people’s minds by changing their hearts first.” He will be missed ❤️ https://t.co/jWm3gvX0YS
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) March 24, 2020
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
My God this one hurts. A modern playwright legend gone from complications due to Coronavirus. Thank you #terrancemcnally for you brilliance you left behind. You will be missed🙏 https://t.co/SmyY0vhBxC
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) March 24, 2020
My first acting award at a one-act festival in high school. My first Tony nomination was for Full Monty. Both shows written by Terrence McNally. He had a monumental impact on my career and will be missed. Rest In Peace, my friend. #RIPTerrenceMcNally
— patrick wilson (@patrickwilson73) March 24, 2020
This loss is tragic, especially given that it was preventable if only men like Donald Trump had done more, earlier to prevent and contain the spread of this disease. But no, we are in a country run by a man who apparently thinks the lives of people like Terrence McNally are worth less than the profits of his casinos.
Rest in peace.
(via Deadline, image: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
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