Tom Hanks is playing mike mcalary, a Newsday colleague, in new Bway play by Ephron

How strange to be reminded that the columnist Mike McAlary, who worked at New York Newsday with me and a load of other NY Times colleagues, was only 41 when he died. He was the older, more worldly and experienced  star at the paper — and now I’m older than he was. Hard for me to envision Tom Hanks playing the rough-edged character, but looking forward to it.

As Pat Healy writes:

“Tom Hanks is in negotiations to make his Broadway debut next year playing the Daily News columnist Mike McAlary in a new bio-drama by Nora Ephron, Mr. Hanks’s spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday.

Mr. McAlary, a hard-charging journalist who became one of the most popular tabloid newspaper writers in recent city history, died from colon cancer in 1998, at 41. He covered crime and cops and the major police department corruption scandals of the 1980s and 90s, perhaps most famously the Abner Louima brutality case, which won him the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Ms. Ephron draws on all of this in her play, titled “Lucky Guy,” which is said to be a multicharacter work as opposed to a one-man show.”


2 responses to “Tom Hanks is playing mike mcalary, a Newsday colleague, in new Bway play by Ephron

  1. I knew Mike well growing up in New Hampshire, and even moved into his family’s house for my final year and a half of high school after my family’s house was repossessed. The McAlary household was an amazing place, full of vitality and, of course, the kind of fighting that only an Irish family with 8 kids could manage. The strongest force in that house was his mother, Ellen, who was one of the most influential people I ever met, in a positive way. Ellen was tough as nails, but surely one of the most loving people one could hope to meet. She had to be tough, raising kids as full of piss and vinegar as Mike and his older brother Dennis. Mike and I were inseparable for a few years of school, and I am quite certain that we made the oddest couple of friends – i was the pot-smoking pacifist hippie, and mike was the rough and tumble fist-fighting city kid who had been transplanted into the country. We got into loads of trouble together… well, actually I watched Mike get into trouble mostly. We played Pop Warner football in Manchester, NH for a couple of years and we had to hitchhike the 8 miles each way from Goffstown, even in winter. Mike was fearless, and driven, even as a child. He was one of the more colorful people I have known in my life, and I was really crushed to hear of his passing on that Christmas day all those years ago. We had just begun to get back in touch after years of no contact. I was so happy to hear that this play is going forward about his amazing life. I hope they can even capture a fraction of the person he was, especially the young McAlary that Lupica mentions sleeping on his hotel floor. I remember Mike leaving to hitchhike to Breton Woods for Volvo International tournament, telling me before he left that he was going to interview Jimmy Connors. I will be damned, but he did! That was Mike, always so confident, and with an iron will to make things happen.

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