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Tony winner and ‘Spamalot’ star Michael McGrath dies at 65

McGrath was a beloved actor on Broadway, with his career spanning more than three decades.
/ Source: TODAY

Michael McGrath, known for his roles in “Spamalot” and “Tootsie” on Broadway, has died, has confirmed. He was 65.

Over the course of his career, McGrath has appeared in more than one dozen stage productions on Broadway from 1992 to 2022, according to Playbill. He made his Broadway debut in “My Favorite Year,” which was followed by roles in “Little Me,” “Memphis,” “She Loves Me,” as well as “On the Twentieth Century.” 

In his most recent Broadway role before his death, he was the standby for three roles in “Plaza Suite” starring Sarah Jessica Parker, including the role of Sam Nash, which was played by Matthew Broderick.

McGrath earned his first Tony Award nomination in 2005 for best featured actor in a musical for his role as Patsy in “Spamalot.” Less than a decade later in 2012, he earned his second nomination and first win for best actor featured in a musical for his role as Cookie McGee in “Nice Work If You Can Get It.”

His other accolades include two Drama Desk Award nominations for outstanding featured actor in a musical for his roles in “Swinging On A Star” and “Spamalot” and one win for “Nice Work If You Can Get It.”

Prior to his three-decade long career on Broadway, he appeared in several iterations of “Forbidden Broadway” from 1988 to 1996, Playbill reported. McGrath also starred in several of productions by New York City Center Encores!, including “Du Barry Was a Lady, “The Boys From Syracuse,” and “Follies.” 

Outside of his work on Broadway, McGrath served as the sidekick on Martin Short’s talkshow, “The Martin Short Show,” which ran for one season from 1999 to 2000.

McGrath is survived by his wife of 30 years, Toni Di Buono, who he met while they co-starred in “Forbidden Broadway” in Boston. The couple shared one child, their daughter Katie Claire McGrath.

The actor's daughter re-posted several tributes on her Instagram story, including one posted by the St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre, known as The Muny, which read in part, “His comedic spirit, kind heart and devoted work ethic will be forever missed by all those who called him a friend.”

She also shared a tribute from actor Phil Sloves, who wrote, “This one hurts on so many levels.”