Famed movie, theater and television writer-director-actor, Douglas McGrath died suddenly Thursday in New York City at the age of 64, Deadline is reporting. He was best known for being nominated for a Tony Award for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and an Oscar for the screenplay he co-penned with Woody Allen for Bullets Over Broadway.
At the time of his death, McGrath was starring in the Off Broadway solo show he scribed, Everything’s Fine. The autobiographical play was helmed by John Lithgow at the Daryl Roth Theatre. Following McGrath’s death yesterday, the production’s performance this past Wednesday, November 2 will be its final show. It was originally scheduled to play through at least January 22.
Details about the entertainer’s cause of death weren’t immediately made public. His death was announced by Everything’s Fine producers – Daryl Roth, Tom Werner and Lithgow.
“The company of Everything’s Fine was honored to have presented his solo autobiographical show,” the producers said about McGrath in a statement they released following his death. “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.”
Lithgow also commented on his fellow actor’s death in a tweet, saying: “We’ve lost Doug McGrath. Words can’t express our grief and shock.”
After being born and raised in Midland, Texas, McGrath graduated from the Trinity School of Midland, The Choate School and Princeton University.
The scribe-director later began his writing career on the staff of Saturday Night Live during its notorious 1980-81 season. McGrath’s other television credits include the direction of two documentaries for HBO: His Way, which chronicled the life of the legendary music promoter and movie producer Jerry Weintraub, and Becoming Mike Nichols. Both projects were nominated for Emmy Awards.
In addition to Beautiful: The Carole King, the writer-helmer’s other most notable theater works are the theatrical productions Checkers and The Age of Innocence.
Besides Bullets Over Broadway, McGrath’s films included the 1996 version of Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, which he penned and directed; Nicholas Nickleby; Company Man, which he co-wrote and co-helmed with Peter Askin; and, as scribe and director, Infamous, the 2006 Truman Capote biopic that starred Toby Jones in the title role, Daniel Craig as killer Perry Smith and Sandra Bullock as Nelle Harper Lee.
As an actor, McGrath starred in such movies as Quiz Show, The Insider, Michael Clayton, Company Man. He also appeared in seven movies by Allen, including Celebrity, Sweet and Lowdown, Small Time Crooks, Hollywood Ending, Café Society, Crisis in Six Scenes and Rifkin’s Festival.
McGrath also penned essays for The New Yorker, The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and was a columnist at Air Mail.
The entertainer is survived by his wife, Jane Read Martin, and son, Henry McGrath.