Award-winning Screenwriter & Director, Douglas McGrath, Dies at 64

At the age of 64, writer, director, and performer Douglas McGrath passed away.

Recently, the Tony and Oscar nominee was performing as the lead in his own autobiographical off-Broadway play, Everything’s Fine, which he also wrote. Producers Daryl Roth, Tom Werner, and John Lithgow, who also served as the show’s director, revealed his passing on November 3rd.

“The company of Everything’s Fine was honored to have presented his solo autobiographical show,” the statement reads. “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.”

On November 2, there was one final performance. The one-man performance on a troubling episode in McGrath’s adolescence had earned favorable reviews. Elisabeth Vincentelli, in a piece for the New York Times, lauded the “can’t-look-away nature of a slow-motion accident,” saying that “you might be outraged yet laughing, anxious to hear what occurred next while simultaneously dreading it.” In the wake of his passing, Vincentelli tweeted that it was “a sudden, awful shock.”

The reason for death has not been given.

Jenni Konner, who was the co-showrunner and one of the writers and directors for Girls tweeted: “We had the best time with him on Girls. Such a massive talent. Such a nice man. RIP.”

Douglas McGrath’s early career.  

In 1980, McGrath started his writing career as a writer for Saturday Night Live. In 1995, he was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the script for Bullets Over Broadway with Woody Allen. Additionally, he appeared as an actor in numerous of Allen’s films, including Café Society, Small Time Crooks, and Celebrity.

He also served as writer and director for the Gwyneth Paltrow-starring 1996 adaptation of Emma, the Charlie Hunnam-starring 2002 adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby, and the Toby Jones-starring 2006 drama Infamous based on the works of Truman Capote.

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For penning the book for the Broadway production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, McGrath received a Tony nomination. McGrath commended King for never asking him “to soften or improve the events of her life” in an article for the Guardian in 2018. Checkers and The Age of Innocence were two of his other plays.

He co-wrote with Woody Allen the film Bullets Over Broadway (1994), for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as well as BAFTA and Writers Guild of America Award nominations. Douglas McGrath directed such films as Emma (1996), Company Man (2000), Nicholas Nickleby (2002), and Infamous (2006). He also appeared in such films as Quiz Show (1994), The Daytrippers (1996), Happiness (1998), The Insider (1999), and Michael Clayton (2007).

Douglas McGrath’s early life and education.

R. Searle McGrath, an independent oil producer from Midland, Texas, and Beatrice McGrath are the parents of McGrath. He was born on February 2, 1958, in Midland, Texas, USA.

Douglas McGrath Family

Douglas McGrath attended Princeton University, The Choate School, and Trinity School of Midland, among other institutions. He belonged to the Princeton Triangle Club while a student, and after graduating, he was elected to the organization’s board of directors.

Douglas McGrath’s wife and children.

A former Woody Allen assistant and the sister of novelist Ann M. Martin, Jane Read Martin, was married to Douglas McGrath in 1995. They had a son together.

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