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'Hairspray' writer Mark O'Donnell dies, aged 58

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Mark O'Donnell
Opening Night of the

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Mark O'Donnell has died, aged 58.

The Tony Award-winning writer co-wrote the successful stage shows Hairspray and Cry-Baby.

His agent Jack Tantleff confirmed that he collapsed on Monday (August 6) in the reception of his apartment in Manhattan, New York. A post-mortem will take place later today.

O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan won a Tony Award in 2003 for their musical adaptation of the movie Hairspray. They later earned Tony nominations in 2008 for Cry-Baby.

His other plays included Vertigo Park, The Nice and the Nasty and That's It, Folks!

He also wrote the novels Getting Over Homer and Let Nothing You Dismay.

Actress Martha Plimpton paid tribute to O'Donnell on Twitter, writing: "So terribly sad to lose the lovely, dear, and kind Mark O'Donnell. Funny, sweet. I'll miss seeing him round the neighbourhood. Very, very sad."

His agent added: "He was a huge talent, and a warm, witty and wonderful man who marched to his own drummer."

O'Donnell was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1954. He was the identical twin of TV writer, Steve O'Donnell, the head writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Hairspray was adapted into a 2007 movie starring John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer.

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