In Memoriam: Thomas Meehan, Tony Award Winning Book Writer

by Michael Eddy

The three-time Tony Award-winning book writer Thomas Meehan has died at the age of 88. After being ill the past five months, including undergoing surgery recently, he had passed away at his home in Manhattan earlier this week. Meehan has the rare distinction of having written the books for three Broadway shows that all ran for over 2,000 performances on Broadway and for which he won his Tony Awards, Annie; The Producers; and Hairspray.

In the videos below Meehan first speaks about the considerations of writing the scene that leads into a song. The second video looks at the spark of an idea that became Annie

He started out as writer with The New Yorker magazine's Talk of the Town section and received a 1964 Emmy Award nomination as part of the writing team for TV's That Was the Week That Was. Meehan made his Broadway debut in 1977 with Annie, working with composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Martin Charnin. He co-write The Producers with Mel Brooks; and Hairspray with Mark O'Donnell. Meehan's other Broadway credits include Young Frankenstein (with Brooks), Cry-Baby (with O'Donnell), Elf (with Bob Martin), Chaplin ( with Christopher Curtis, Bombay Dreams (with Meera Syal), and Rocky (with Sylvester Stallone)