Acclaimed playwright Terrence McNally has died of complications due to coronavirus.

McNally’s death was confirmed by his spokesperson. One of the greatest American playwrights of his generation, died Tuesday at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Florida. He was 81. The writer of Kiss of the Spider Woman and Frankie and Johnny was a survivor of lung cancer who lived with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Tony Award-winning playwright is survived by his husband, Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy.

Tributes have arrived on Twitter from stage luminaries including Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Heartbroken over the loss of Terrence McNally, a giant in our world, who straddled plays and musicals deftly,” he tweeted. “Grateful for his staggering body of work and his unfailing kindness.”

Actor Patrick Wilson, who starred in two shows written by McNally, including The Full Monty, also tweeted: “He had a monumental impact on my career and will be missed.” Many others including Chita Rivera and actor Jason Alexander also commented on Twitter to express their condolences.

McNally’s long career began in 1961 when John Steinbeck asked him to work together on a number of projects, including a musical version of East of Eden. Throughout the 60s, McNally wrote a number of plays, including Noon, Next directed by Elaine May and And Things That Go Bump In The Night, which drew criticism at the time for its gay content.

Terrence McNally Plays

McNally was a four-time Tony Award winner, recipient of the 2019 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, and 1994 Pulitzer Prize nominee. He wrote landmark and popular plays and musicals including Master Class, Ragtime, The Ritz, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, The Full Monty, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Rink. His more recent productions include Anastasia and Mothers and Sons.

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