Thomas Meehan, Writer of ‘Annie,’ ‘Hairspray’ and ‘The Producers,’ Dies at 88

The multiple Tony-winning author’s other Broadway credits include “Elf,” “Chaplin” and “Rocky”

Thomas Meehan, the Tony Award-winning writer of “Annie,” “Hairspray” and “The Producers,” has died at the age of 88.

Meehan’s collaborator Martin Charnin confirmed the news to Playbill on Tuesday. “It’s a great loss. It’s incalculable. I have a huge hole in my heart right now,” he said.

Meehan holds the distinction of being the only writer to have written three Broadway shows that ran for more than 2,000 performances. He earned Tonys for all three of those works, “Annie” in 1977, “The Producers” in 2001 and “Hairspray” in 2002.

His other credits include “Young Frankenstein,” “Cry-Baby,” “Elf,” “Chaplin” and “Rocky.” In 2008, Meehan was nominated for a fourth Tony for writing the book for the stage adaptation of John Waters’ “Cry-Baby.”

Born August 14, 1929, Meehan began his career as a writer for the New Yorker before linking up with Charnin to adapt the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie.”

In addition to his stage work, Meehan would also serve as writer for the Tony Awards from 1991-2001 and co-write the script for “Spaceballs” with director Mel Brooks.