Terrence McNally, Playwright, Passes

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:3 mins read
Photo: Paul Davidson

Terrence McNally (November 3, 1938 – March 24, 2020)

Playwright Terrence McNalley (81) passed away March 24, 2020 in Sarasota, Florida. The cause of death was complications from the Coronavirus.

McNalley was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and moved with his family to Port Chester, New York and Corpus Christi, Texas. Starting in 1956, he attended Columbia University in New York City and graduated in 1960.

online pharmacy generic

He focused on playwriting while living in Mexico, returning to New York City where he lived until his death.

He made his Broadway playwriting debut in 1963 with an adaptation of The Lady of the Camillias. In addition to his many plays—And Things That Go Bump in the Night (1965), Bad Habits (1974), The Ritz (1975), Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (1987), Lisbon Traviata (1989), Love! Valour! Compassion! (1994; Tony Award for Best Play), Master Class (1995; Tony Award for Best Play)—he was the librettist for the musicals The Rink (1984), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993; Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical), Ragtime (1998; Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical), A Man of No Importance (2002), Chita Rivera: A Dancer’s Life (2005), The Visit (2011) and Anastasia (2017). He was a prolific writer in many genres: stage, film, opera, television covering his interests in opera, history, and gay culture.

He had a four-year relationship with playwright Edward Albee, and had a long-term relationship with actor/director Robert Drivas, who died of AIDS.
Later in life, he began a long-term relationship with Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy. In 2003, they had a civil union ceremony in Vermont. They were legally married in Washington, D.C. in 2010 and renewed their vows in New York City 2015.

In addition to his husband, he is survived by his brother, Peter McNally and his wife Vicky and their son, Stephen and his family, as well as other members of the Kirdahy family, including his mother-in-law, Joan Kirdahy.