Playwright Terrence McNally Dead From COVID-19 Complications: James Corden & More Stars React

Tony-Award winning playwright Terrence McNally passed away on Tuesday after suffering from complications due to Coronavirus.

By Alyssa Morin Mar 24, 2020 8:09 PMTags
Terrence McNallyAl Pereira/Getty Images

The world of entertainment has lost a legend.

Tony Award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Terrence McNally, passed away after suffering from complications due to Coronavirus, E! News has learned. He was also a lung cancer survivor who lived with chronic pulmonary disease.

According to documents shared with E! NewsMcNally died at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Florida on Tuesday.

He was 81 years old.

The four-time Tony Award winner was best known for his work: Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Master ClassRagtimeLove! Valour! Compassion! and so many others.

In light of McNally's death, many Hollywood stars have taken to social media to express their heartache and sorrow.

"Saddened to hear of the passing of Terrence McNally," James Corden tweeted. "He was an absolute gentleman and his commitment to the theatre was unwavering. He will be missed by so many of us."

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote on Twitter, "Heartbroken over the loss of Terrence McNally, a giant in our world, who straddled plays and musicals deftly. Grateful for his staggering body of work and his unfailing kindness."

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"Please remember the brilliant Terrence McNally," Sarah Silverman captioned on her social media post. "'The playwright leaves a legacy of slowly changing people's minds by changing their hearts first.' He will be missed."

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Jason Alexander expressed similar sentiments and shared a short anecdote of what it was like to work with the late playwright.

"We lost a great artist today. I worked for and with Terrence McNally twice in my life and they were two of the greatest experiences I've ever had," Alexander said. "His work was vital, intense, hysterical and rare. My hope is that he will inspire writers for years to come."

Comedian and host, Michelle Collins, also shared her experience with Terrence on Twitter.

"Heartbroken over the loss Terrence McNally. I met him years ago at Columbia & he could not have been more kind, funny and charming," she recalled. "I told him I played Maria Callas in Master Class in the 11th grade and he dryly said "I could see that." A true genius. Read his stuff today."

Wilson Cruz also took to Twitter to share his heartache.

"This virus just claimed one of the most important artists of our time. His contribution to our culture and to me personally, can't be overstated," he wrote. "Terrence McNally, Tony-Winning Scribe of Love! Valour! Compassion!, Ragtime & More, Dies at 81."

"Terrence McNally was a legend among legends on Broadway. If you are an actor, there's a good chance you have performed one of his works," George Takei expressed. "If not, you surely will in your career, he was that prolific and gifted. Ah, my heart breaks at the news!"

Billy Eichner wrote, "A huge loss. I was fortunate enough to grow up in NYC and could see myself in his plays long before the rest of Hollywood caught up. Wildly prolific and wonderful. Thank you Terrence McNally."

Cynthia Nixon shared a personal and heartwarming message about the late screenwriter.

"So incredibly saddened by the passing of the great Terrence McNally—virtuosic playwright, fearless LGBT activist, and steadfast friend," she wrote. "There will never be another one like him."

McNally is survived by his husband, Tom Kirdahy

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