Terrence McNally, Tony award-winning playwright, dies of coronavirus complications

Playwright Terrence McNally sits for a portrait at his home on March 2, 2020, in New York.

Acclaimed playwright Terrence McNally died Tuesday due to complications from the coronavirus. He was 81.

McNally, who last year received the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, died in a hospital in Sarasota, Florida, according to his publicist, Matt Polk.

He was a lung cancer survivor and had a lung disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Polk said.

McNally won two Tony Awards for writing the books for the musicals "Ragtime" in 1998 and "Kiss of the Spider Woman" in 1993.

He won two more for his plays "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and "Master Class."

McNally was also behind dozens of other works such as the musicals "Anastasia" and "The Full Monty," and "Mothers and Sons," a play about a mother whose son died of AIDS, according to Playbill.com.

McNally, who was married to Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy, was openly gay and often wrote about the lives of gay men in his plays.

Actors mourned his loss on Twitter.

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

Actor Mark Hamill quoted McNally in his tweet, saying, "'A lot of people stop learning in life and that's their tragedy.' - Terrence McNally, one of the most brilliant and prolific playwrights... EVER."

CNN's Deborah Doft contributed to this report.

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