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Thomas Meehan (1929 – 2017)

by Kirk Fox

Tony Award-winning book writer of “Annie” and “The Producers”…

Thomas Meehan, Tony Award-winning book writer of “Annie” and “The Producers,” has died at the age of 88, according to multiple news sources. 

Sasha Charnin Morrison, the daughter of lyricist Martin Charnin, who collaborated with Meehan on “Annie,” confirmed his death on Instagram. 


Meehan won three Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical. The first was for “Annie” in 1977. He won again in 2001 for “The Producers” and shared the award in 2003 with Mark O’Donnell for “Hairspray.” 

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Meehan is the only writer to have written three Broadway shows that each ran for more than 2,000 performances. 

Meehan grew up in Suffern, New York, and attended Hamilton College. He began his career writing for The New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town” section. 

Meehan’s first big Broadway success was with “Annie,” which became one of the biggest hits in Broadway history. 

He co-wrote the movie “Spaceballs” with Mel Brooks. Brooks then partnered with Meehan to bring his movie “The Prodcuers” to Broadway. 

Meehan’s other credits include writing the book for the Broadway version of Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky.”

In 2012, Meehan told Playbill, “The shameful fact is that I’m not remotely musical. I don’t sing well. I don’t play any instrument. I do have a good ear. “Every once in a while, I think about going back to playwriting, frankly. I have a couple of ideas, but once I got on track of doing musicals, I stayed on it because Annie was out to be such an incredible, life-changing experience. Now I can’t afford to go back.” 

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