Thomas Meehan, most well-known for writing Broadway hits such as ‘Annie’, ‘The Producers’, ‘Hairspray’, passed away aged 88.
Diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, Meehan has been battling with his illness for the past five months. Unfortunately, his health conditions continued to deteriorate and he died at his home in Manhattan on late Monday or early Tuesday.
He previously won three Tony Awards for the aforementioned musicals and wrote books for performances that ran over 2000 times on Broadway. ‘Annie’ with 2,377 runs, ‘The Producers’ at 2,502 runs and ‘Hairspray’ reached 2,642 runs.
“I wrote stories that were serious, very somber, trying to be in the style of William Faulkner,” Meehan said to the Observer newspaper in 1999. “My career has always been that every time I try something really serious, it’s no good, but if I try to be funny, then it works.”
In addition to authoring musicals, he also wrote for film and television. In particular, his co-writing efforts were noted for “To Be or Not to Be” (1983) and “Spaceballs” (1987).
For his excellent rendition of the orphan girl Annie and her quest for a place to call home, not only did he receive the Tony Award for Best Book of Musical, he also won an Emmy Award as the co-writer of ‘Annie: The Women in the Life of a Man,’ a TV special revolving around Anne Bancroft.
He was known for his humorous writing style, as seen in his contributions towards the New Yorker and scripts for television comedies such as ‘Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs,’ a remake of ‘To Be or Not to Be’, the film adaptation of ‘The Producers’, and ‘One Magic Christmas.’
Feature image courtesy of Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images