Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Annie writer Thomas Meehan dies aged 88

Thomas Meehan, who has died aged 88. Photo: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com
by -

Thomas Meehan, winner of three Tony awards for the books to Annie, The Producers and Hairspray, has died at the age of 88.

His death on August 21 from cancer was confirmed by his second wife, Carolyn Meehan.

In a long career that encompassed the stage, television and film, Meehan developed a close working relationship with Mel Brooks, with whom he also wrote the book to Young Frankenstein and the films To Be or Not to Be and sci-fi parody Spaceballs.

At the time of his death he had been working on re-writes of Young Frankenstein for its West End debut at the Garrick Theatre in September.

His other Broadway credits included Bombay Dreams – co-written with Meera Syal – Elf, Chaplin and Rocky.

Among early tributes, Brooks said: “Stunned by the news that my friend/co-writer Tom Meehan has died. I’ll miss his sweetness and talent. We have all lost a giant of the theatre.”

Harvey Fierstein, who created the role of Edna Tumblad in the original Broadway run of Hairspray, said Meehan had “led a wonderful life and left so much mirth behind for us to enjoy. Bravo maestro.”

Singer Michael Feinstein tweeted: “So sad to hear of the passing of Thomas Meehan… only writer to have 3 shows run over 2,000 performances. What a legacy.”

A full obituary will appear in a future issue of The Stage.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.