×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Thomas Meehan, Co-Writer of Broadway’s ‘Annie’ and ‘The Producers,’ Dies at 88

Thomas Meehan, the co-writer of Broadway hits “Annie,” “The Producers,” and “Hairspray,” has died. He was 88.

The winner of three Tony Awards, Meehan was one of Broadway’s most prominent librettists. He won his first Tony Award for the book to “Annie,” the iconic 1977 smash on which he collaborated with composer Charles Strouse and lyricist-director Martin Charnin. He went on to win a Tony for “The Producers” (for the book he co-wrote with Mel Brooks) and one for “Hairspray” (co-written with Mark O’Donnell).

He also wrote for film and television, with big-screen work that included co-writing credits on “To Be or Not to Be” (1983) and “Spaceballs” (1987). In 1970, he won an Emmy Award as the co-writer of “Annie: The Women in the Life of a Man,” a TV special centered around Anne Bancroft.

Born Aug. 14, 1929 in Ossining, N.Y., Meehan went to Hamilton College in New York state and began his professional life as a writer for the New Yorker. His comic pieces in that magazine brought him to the attention of Charnin, who enlisted him as a writer on Bancroft’s TV special, which Charnin produced.

That initial job with Charnin led Meehan to his work on “Annie,” which was one of Broadway’s biggest hits at the time and went on to become a regional theater staple (and a cash cow for its creators). Strouse, Charnin, and Meehan made two attempts at a sequel to the show: The first, “Annie 2: Miss Hannigan’s Revenge,” earned poor notices in its 1989 premiere at the Kennedy Center, but a 1993 try, “Annie Warbucks,” played Off Broadway.

Meehan also wrote the book for musicals “I Remember Mama” (1979), “Bombay Dreams” (2004), “Young Frankenstein” (2007), “Elf” (2010), and “Rocky” (2014), among others.

More Legit

  • The Prom review

    Broadway Review: 'The Prom'

    Thomas Meehan, the co-writer of Broadway hits “Annie,” “The Producers,” and “Hairspray,” has died. He was 88. The winner of three Tony Awards, Meehan was one of Broadway’s most prominent librettists. He won his first Tony Award for the book to “Annie,” the iconic 1977 smash on which he collaborated with composer Charles Strouse and […]

  • Sutton Foster'A Chorus Line' 75th Anniversary

    'Younger' Star Sutton Foster Recalls One of Her Early 'Terrible' Auditions

    Thomas Meehan, the co-writer of Broadway hits “Annie,” “The Producers,” and “Hairspray,” has died. He was 88. The winner of three Tony Awards, Meehan was one of Broadway’s most prominent librettists. He won his first Tony Award for the book to “Annie,” the iconic 1977 smash on which he collaborated with composer Charles Strouse and […]

  • Hadestown review London

    London Theater Review: 'Hadestown'

    Thomas Meehan, the co-writer of Broadway hits “Annie,” “The Producers,” and “Hairspray,” has died. He was 88. The winner of three Tony Awards, Meehan was one of Broadway’s most prominent librettists. He won his first Tony Award for the book to “Annie,” the iconic 1977 smash on which he collaborated with composer Charles Strouse and […]

  • Mother of the Maid Glenn Close

    Listen: Glenn Close on What 'Fatal Attraction' Means in the #MeToo Era

    Thomas Meehan, the co-writer of Broadway hits “Annie,” “The Producers,” and “Hairspray,” has died. He was 88. The winner of three Tony Awards, Meehan was one of Broadway’s most prominent librettists. He won his first Tony Award for the book to “Annie,” the iconic 1977 smash on which he collaborated with composer Charles Strouse and […]

  • Pinter at the Pinter review

    West End Review: 'Pinter Three and Four'

    Thomas Meehan, the co-writer of Broadway hits “Annie,” “The Producers,” and “Hairspray,” has died. He was 88. The winner of three Tony Awards, Meehan was one of Broadway’s most prominent librettists. He won his first Tony Award for the book to “Annie,” the iconic 1977 smash on which he collaborated with composer Charles Strouse and […]

  • Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    Nickelodeon's Evolved 'Turtles,' 'Game of Thrones,' 'Hamilton' Among Licensing Innovators

    Thomas Meehan, the co-writer of Broadway hits “Annie,” “The Producers,” and “Hairspray,” has died. He was 88. The winner of three Tony Awards, Meehan was one of Broadway’s most prominent librettists. He won his first Tony Award for the book to “Annie,” the iconic 1977 smash on which he collaborated with composer Charles Strouse and […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content