Michael McGrath, Tony-Winning Actor Who Starred in ‘Spamalot’ and ‘Tootsie,’ Dead at 65


Michael McGrath, a Tony-winning actor known for appearances in such productions as Spamalot and Tootsie, has died. He was 65 years old.

A rep confirmed the news to PEOPLE on Friday, and said that McGrath died Thursday at his home in Bloomfield, New Jersey. A cause of death was not disclosed.

“A Red Sox fanatic, bourbon connoisseur, devoted husband and father and friend to anyone who met him,” the rep says in a statement.

McGrath starred in more than a dozen shows on Broadway, including the aforementioned Spamalot and Tootsie plus Plaza Suite and Nice Work If You Can Get It — the latter of which earned him his first-ever Tony Award in 2012, for his role as Cookie McGee.

He also received a Tony nomination in 2005 for his work in Spamalot, for which he pulled triple duty as Patsy/Mayor of Finland/1st Guard.

Michael McGrath accepts the award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical onstage at the 66th Annual Tony Awards
Michael McGrath wins best performance by a featured actor in a musical at the 66th Tony Awards on June 10, 2012, in New York City. ANDREW H. WALKER/WIREIMAGE

Other accolades earned by McGrath during his decades-long stage career include a Drama Desk Award (plus two additional nominations), an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Theatre World Award.

Aside from his stage work, McGrath also played the sidekick to Martin Short on The Martin Short Show, which aired for one season from 1999 to 2000.

Tributes to the late actor poured out on social media from fellow Broadway stars, including Patti Murin and Steve Kazee, the latter of whom said he was “absolutely gutted” at the news.

“I will never forget our nights at Angus and all the s— you taught me,” added Kazee, 47, sharing a trio of photos of McGrath. “You were kinder to me than you ever had to be and I am so grateful for the time we spent together. An amazing man. Gone far too soon. Love you Michael. RIP.”

“What a loss,” Jesse Tyler Ferguson wrote in a comment on Kazee’s post.

Murin, 42, shared a pair of snapshots in tribute to McGrath, including one of the two of them together and a more recent one of McGrath holding her daughter Lorelai, 5 months, with fellow theater actor Robin de Jesús smiling in the background.

“Absolutely devastated to wake up this morning and hear that Michael McGrath has passed away,” Murin wrote. “Our time at Little Shop at the MUNY was short, but working with him was like packing 20 years worth of joy into a few short weeks. Always smiling, always asking about my family, always in dad mode, even to us fully grown adults.”

“Here he’s holding Lorelai so I could do a radio interview, and I remember saying, ‘This baby has no idea how lucky she is!’ as he crooned her a lullaby,” added the actress and singer. “Anyone who has ever exchanged so much as a hello with Michael is incredibly fortunate, and I can’t believe I’ll never be able to see him smile again.”

McGrath is survived by his wife of 30 years, actress Toni Di Buono, and his daughter, actress Katie Claire McGrath.

“My heart and thoughts and love are with his family, Toni and Katie, who he loved more than anything in the world. #MichaelMcGrath,” Murin concluded her heartfelt tribute.

Source: People