Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Daniel McDonald (1960-2007)

Being a huge fan of Broadway, I was shocked and saddened when I read yesterday that Scranton native and Broadway actor Daniel McDonald died on February 15th at the age of 46. In addition to his Tony-nominated work on the New York stage, McDonald made several appearances on TV and in film.

Daniel McDonald was born in Scranton, PA on July 30, 1960. He was raised in Romulus, NY and was the youngest of seven children (his brother is actor Christopher McDonald (Thelma & Louise, Quiz Show). He graduated from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY and also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

McDonald's work on the Broadway stage includes 1997's Steel Pier, a Kander and Ebb musical set in Atlantic City, which earned him a Best Actor Tony nomination; he also won the Theatre World Award foor best Actor for the role. McDonald also starred in the stage version of Cole Porter's High Society in 1998. His most recent work on Broadway was as a replacement in the role of Sam Carmichael, one of Sophie's three possible dads in the smash musical Mamma Mia!

He also wrote and starred in Chesterfield, a one-act inspired by Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, which played in both New York and Los Angeles.

McDonald made his film debut in the 1984 sex comedy Where The Boys Are '84, co-starring Lisa Hartman. In a 2001 interview on, McDonald looked back fondly and humorously on the making of his debut movie. His other roles include 1985's The Falcon and the Snowman, starring Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton, 1993's What's Love Got To Do With It? starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, and Ang Lee's 1997 film The Ice Storm, starring Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, Tobey Maguire and Christina Ricci.

McDonald's television credits include episodes of Law and Order, D.C., Sex & the City, and CSI: Miami.

Daniel McDonald died Thursday, February 15th, 2007 in New York City after a long and brave battle with brain cancer. He is survived by his wife and two children. His obituary has appeared in newspapers across the country, including USA Today and the Broadway magazine Playbill.

According to, McDonald was recording a CD of standards from the American songbook including two songs from Steel Pier. That album is due to be released in April.

One of Daniel McDonald's songs, First You Dream, from Steel Pier (a duet with Karen ZiƩmba), is featured on a CD titled Broadway in Love, which is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System by clicking here.

To make a donation in Daniel's memory to Team Continuum, which cares for the immediate needs of cancer patients from all over the world, click here.

The Reference Department sends our heartfelt condolences to Daniel McDonald's family on the passing of this truly talented Scranton native.

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