‘Ragtime’ playwright Terrence McNally dies from coronavirus complications – USA TODAY

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. 

Terrence McNally accepts the special tony award for lifetime achievement during the 73rd Annual Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall in June of 2019.

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.”

“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.”

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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