Oscar, Tony-Nominated Writer-Director Douglas McGrath Dies

Oscar, Tony-Nominated Writer-Director Douglas McGrath Dies
Douglas McGrath poses to promote his film "Infamous" during the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 13, 2006. (Chitose Suzuki/AP Photo)

NEW YORK—Stage, TV and film writer-director Douglas McGrath, who earned a Tony nomination for “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and an Oscar nod for the “Bullets Over Broadway” screenplay he co-wrote with Woody Allen, died Thursday. He was 64.

The death was announced by the producers of McGrath’s solo off-Broadway show, “Everything’s Fine,” which opened last month. A show representative said the cause was a heart attack. McGrath had written and was starring in “Everything’s Fine,” and was directed by John Lithgow.

“The company of ‘Everything’s Fine’ was honored to have presented his solo autobiographical show,” the producers said in a statement. “Everyone who worked with him over the last three months of production was struck by his grace, charm, and droll sense of humor, and sends deepest condolences to his family.”

McGrath began his writing career on the staff of “Saturday Night Live” and went on to pen the plays “Checkers,” “The Age of Innocence,” and the musical “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” which ran on Broadway from 2013–2019.

“Doug was smart, funny, talented, kind, a great friend, and a wonderful storyteller who leaves a legacy of love and laughter,” King wrote in tribute on Instagram.

McGrath was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay of 1994’s “Bullets Over Broadway,” which he co-wrote with Allen. The screenplay was used as a basis for Allen’s 2014 Broadway stage adaptation.

McGrath’s other films included “Emma” starring Gwyneth Paltrow, and “Nicholas Nickleby” starring Charlie Hunnam, both of which he wrote and directed. He also wrote and directed the 2006 Truman Capote biopic “Infamous,” starring Toby Jones.

He earned two Emmy Awards nominations for directing two documentaries for HBO: “His Way,” about legendary music promoter and movie producer Jerry Weintraub, and “Becoming Mike Nichols.”

He is survived by wife, Jane Read Martin, and son Henry McGrath.

By Mark Kennedy

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