By Kyle | August 7, 2012
Mark O’Donnell, who wrote the book for “Hairspray” and other shows, has died suddenly in his Upper West Side building. Mark was a top-flight comedy writer who nevertheless, pre-Hairspray, used to tell me he was “destitute” and was glad to write brief (and hilarious) book reviews for me when I was an editor at People magazine. I was glad when he struck it rich but it’s stunning to learn he’s gone so soon. He was a sweet and kind man. I stopped by his Riverside Drive apartment once to drop off a book I needed him to review on deadline — and this picture looks like the building as I recall it. Meaning he didn’t move to a fancy place even after writing one of the biggest Broadway hits of his era.