Terrence McNally, Tony-winning playwright, dead at 81 from COVID-19 complications

(NEW YORK) — Terrence McNally, the Tony-winning playwright whose works include Master Class and Love! Valour! Compassion!, has died at 81 from complications of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Variety reports. 

McNally’s age and medical history — he had the chronic lung condition COPD and was a lung cancer survivor — made him particularly susceptible to the respiratory illness.  Variety reports he died in a Sarasota, Florida hospital, according to his publicist.

McNally won four Tonys in his storied career over a remarkable six years, the first in 1993 for the musical Kiss of the Spider Woman, followed by Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, and the 1998 musical Ragtime, the first and last for which he wrote the book, meaning the non-musical script.  Just last year, McNally was honored with a special Tony award for lifetime achievement.

McNally also won a primetime Emmy award for the 1990 TV drama Andre’s Mother, which he adapted from his stage play of the same name.  He also adapted his plays The Ritz and Love! Valour! Compassion! for the big screen.  His 1987 off-Broadway play Frankie and Johnny at the Clair de Lune was turned into the 1991 romantic drama Frankie and Johnny, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino.

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