Posts Tagged ‘Terrence McNally’

No smart person ever went into the theatre to get rich. Writing for TV you can make a lot of money – a job as a writer on a big hit show, those people get paid a lot of money. But then you belong in L.A. But anyone who said, ‘I want to be a playwright and be rich like Neil Simon,’ that would be an idiot. A stupid person. I think Neil Simon is probably more surprised at his success than anyone.

When we made the movie of Frankie and Johnny, Garry Marshall, who directed it, had three of the top 10-rated shows on TV, on at the same year, and he said, ‘You had my career.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘All I wanted was to be a playwright in New York. Then we started having kids, and suddenly I had three kids. I said, I have to go to Hollywood and get a job.’ And at the end of his life, he wrote three or four plays. He built a theatre in the Toluca Lake area. They renamed it the Garry Marshall [Theatre]. It was called the Falcon, I think. They opened it with Master Class. I was very flattered. But he said, ‘I really wanted your career, to be on Broadway.’ And then he brought a play to New York, called – the worst title – Wrong Turn at Lungfish Cove. That’s really a bad … It had George C. Scott in it – I think the greatest American actor of my lifetime. It wasn’t very good, but Garry fulfilled [his dream], he got to do it. Better late than never. I believe that.”
—Tony winning playwright Terrence McNally (1938-2020)
Austin Chronicle 

Related posts:
The Secret to Being a Successful Screenwriter (From a playwright turned screenwriter)
‘Who said art had to cost money?’–Francis Ford Coppola
Garry Marshall (1934-2016) 

Scott W. Smith

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