Mark O'Donnell, who won a Tony Award for his musical adaptation of the Movie Hairspray, among other artistic achievements, died Monday at his Manhattan residence, apparently of a heart attack.
Mark was my college classmate. I came to know him and his twin brother
Steve, now head writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live, when we lived in the same
dorm freshman year. As you might imagine, Mark (and Steve) was one of
the funniest people ever. Just a natural, rare talent for making people
laugh. Such a gift. But also a kind and gracious guy. We were an eclectic group, this Class of 1976: John Roberts, now Supreme Court Chief Justice; cellist Yo-Yo Ma; Bobby Kennedy Jr.; Jill Abramson, now executive editor of The New York Times. And a bunch of other good people, lesser known, all of us coming-of-age during an interesting time.