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Terrence McNally, Trailblazing Titan of American Theater, Dies From Coronavirus Complications at 81
Terrence McNally, the admired playwright and librettist who received five Tony Awards while bringing his perspective on the world to such productions as Kiss of the Spider-Woman, Master Class, Ragtime and Love! Valour! Compassion!, has died. He was 81.
McNally died Tuesday at a hospital in Sarasota, Florida, due to complications from coronavirus, publicist Matt Polk told The Hollywood Reporter. McNally battled lung cancer since the late 1990s, and the disease cost him portions of both lungs. He had lived with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ever since.
With 25 Broadway productions, nearly 40 plays and 10 musicals, McNally was a prolific writer whose work moved seamlessly from comedy to drama and from downtown avant-garde to the mainstream Great White Way. "He probes his characters’ deepest fears — of illness, intimacy, betrayal or death — while making them manageable for all audiences, leavening the dread with his rat-a-tat dialogue and well-timed jokes," The New York Times noted.