Mary Rodgers, author of 'Freaky Friday,' dies at 83

By Daniel Levine,

Mary Rodgers, a successful playwright and author of Freaky Friday, died Thursday. She was 83-years-old.

Rodgers’ son, Alec Guttel, confirmed the news on Thursday, reports The New York Daily News. She was battling a long illness.

Rodgers followed the trail that her father, Broadway icon Richard Rodgers, set. Her breakthrough stage hit was Once Upon A Mattress (1959), which helped make Carole Burnett a star, reports The Associated Press. The show was so successful that it was revived in 1996 with Sarah Jessica Parker in the lead. Other stage credits include From A To Z, The Madwoman of Central Park West and Hot Spot.

However, she is perhaps best known for her work as a children’s author. She penned the book Freaky Friday, which inspired two Disney movies. The 2003 edition features Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan.

Her husband, Henry Guettel, died last year. She is survived by her five children and her sister. One of her sons is the Tony winning composer Adam Guettel.

image courtesy of Walter McBride/INFphoto.com

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