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Born in 1939, Terrence McNally had his first play produced in 1964 at the age of 25. Although several early comedies such as Next (1969) and The Ritz (1975) won McNally quite a bit of praise, it was not until later in his career that he would become truly successful with works such as Frankie and Johnny at the Claire de Lune (1987) for which he wrote the screen adaptation which starred Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer.
In 1990, McNally won an Emmy Award for Best Writing in a Miniseries or Special for Andre's Mother. With Kiss of the Spider Woman (1992), McNally turned his attentions to the musical stage, collaborating with John Kander (composer) and Fred Ebb (lyricist) on a script which explores the complex relationship between two men caged together in a Latin American prison. Kiss of the Spider Woman won the 1993 Tony Award for "Best Book of a Musical." He continued to produce highly acclaimed work, such Lips Together, Teeth Apart (1991).
McNally's other plays include Love! Valour! Compassion! (1994) which examines the relationships of eight gay men and Master Class (1995), a character study of legendary opera soprano Maria Callas which won the 1996 Tony Award for "Best Play." McNally also dealt with Callas in The Lisbon Traviata (1989). He continues to be one of America’s foremost living playwrights.