Thomas Meehan (writer)

Thomas Meehan
Born Thomas Edward Meehan
(1929-08-14) August 14, 1929[1][2]
Ossining, New York, U.S.
Occupation Writer
Nationality United States
Alma mater Hamilton College
Notable work(s) Annie
The Producers
Works with Mel Brooks
Awards Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical

Thomas Edward Meehan (born August 14, 1929) is an American writer, best known for Annie, The Producers, and Hairspray.

Life and career

Meehan grew up in Suffern, New York, and graduated from Hamilton College.[3] He moved to New York at age 24, and worked at The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town".[4]

He has received the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical three times: Annie (1977), his Broadway debut; The Producers (2001); and subsequently shared the 2003 award with Mark O'Donnell for Hairspray.[5][6]

Additional credits include Ain't Broadway Grand; Oh, Kay!; Bombay Dreams, a musical adaptation of I Remember Mama; and Annie 2: Miss Hannigan's Revenge, which was subsequently reworked and re-staged Off-Broadway as Annie Warbucks.[7] He also wrote the libretto to the opera 1984.[5][6]

In addition, Meehan is a long-time contributor of humor to The New Yorker; an Emmy Award-winning writer of television comedy; and a collaborator on a number of screenplays, including Mel Brooks' Spaceballs; a remake of To Be or Not to Be; the film adaptation of The Producers; and One Magic Christmas.[8]

Meehan wrote the book for the musical Young Frankenstein, a 2007 musical stage adaptation of the 1974 film of the same name and Cry-Baby. He co-wrote the book, with Bob Martin, for Elf the Musical.[5][6][9] He co-wrote the book for the production of the musical Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin which ran at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2010[10] and premiered on Broadway in 2012. In 2011 he revised the book originally written by Peter Stone for the Off-Broadway musical Death Takes a Holiday with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston.[11]

In 2012, Meehan wrote the book from the original screenplay by Sylvester Stallone[12] for the musical Rocky.[13] The show premiered in Hamburg in 2012,[14] before transferring to Broadway in 2014.[6][15]


  1. Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF) .
  2. Some other sources state 1932 and 1934 as a year of birth. The U.S. copyright office entry under his name lists 1929.
  3. "Thomas Meehan bio", accessed March 12, 2011. according to this biography, Meehan was born in 1929)
  4. Gurley, George and Larocca, Amy. "Thomas Meehan, Writer – Horst of Fifth Avenue", The New York Observer, November 14, 1999
  5. 1 2 3 "Thomas Meehan". Who's Who,, Retrieved January 30, 2011. Archived January 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Thomas Meehan Broadway Credits and Awards", accessed October 17, 2015
  7. Rothstein, Mervyn. "Troubled 'Annie 2' Closing Out of Town; Revisions Planned". The New York Times, January 16, 1990
  8. One Magic Christmas at the TCM Movie Database
  9. Hetrick, Adam."Beth Leavel, Mark Jacoby and George Wendt to Star in Elf – The Musical on Broadway", August 11, 2010
  10. Jones, Kenneth."Limelight Musical, Starring Robert McClure and Ashley Brown, Opens at La Jolla Sept. 19", September 19, 2010
  11. Suskin, Steven. "On the Record. Maury Yeston's 'Death Takes a Holiday' and the London Album of Styne, Comden and Green's 'Do Re Mi'",, October 20, 2011
  12. "'Rocky' musical bound for Broadway in 2014". USA Today. April 28, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  13. "Yo, Adrian! I'm Singin'!". New York Times. December 5, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  14. "Sylvester Stallone talks 'Rocky' musical". Toronto Sun. October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  15. "'Rocky' Musical Set for a Bout With Broadway". Variety. April 28, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
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