Five-time Tony award-winner Terrence McNally has died from coronavirus-related complications at the age of 81.
The playwright’s death, on March 24, was confirmed by his publicist Matt Polk, who said McNally had been living with chronic inflammatory lung disease following earlier treatment for lung cancer.
A pioneer in bringing gay experience to the mainstream stage, McNally’s Broadway career spanned four decades, beginning in 1963 with his adaptation of The Lady of Camellias. His 1982 play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune made its second appearance on Broadway in 2019.
He won his first Tony award for his book for Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1993 – adding others with Love! Valour! Compassion! (1995), Master Class (1996) and Ragtime (1998) – and received a lifetime achievement award in 2019.
His other stage work included The Rink, the Pulitzer prize-nominated A Perfect Ganesh and the musicals The Full Monty and Anastasia.
He wrote librettos for four operas, three of them composed by Jake Heggie, including Dead Man Walking and Great Scott.
Among early tributes on social media, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda said: “Heartbroken over the loss of Terrence McNally, a giant in our world, who straddled plays and musicals deftly.”
Actor George Takei described McNally as “a legend among legends on Broadway”.