Freaky Friday author Mary Rodgers dies at 83

Her best-selling novel, which was originally published in 1976, about a mother and a daughter who mysteriously trade bodies

Mary Rodgers, author of children’s favourite Freaky Friday, has died.

The writer, and daughter of famed Broadway composer Richard Rodgers, passed away on Thursday (26 June) at her home in Manhattan after suffering from a long illness, her son Alec Guettel confirmed.

Her best-selling novel, which was originally published in 1976, about a mother and a daughter who mysteriously trade bodies, has twice been made into Disney films.

The first adaptation came in 1976, and starred Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster.

The second, in 2003, featured Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in the lead roles.

Rodgers followed up Freaky Friday with three sequels: A Billion for Boris, Summer Switch and Freaky Monday, which she wrote with Heather Hach.

 

The daughter of Richard Rodgers  ̶  one half of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical partnership, who penned the scores for The Sound of Music and South Pacific, among others  ̶  she was also musically gifted.

In 1959, she enjoyed her own stage musical debut with Once Upon A Mattress; a story based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Princess and the Pea.

She was married to former executive director of the Theatre Development Fund Henry Guettel, who passed away in 2013.

Adam Guettel, another of her sons, is also a theatre composer. He won a Tony Award for his scoring of The Light in the Piazza.

Rodgers is survived by four children and her sister, Linda Rodgers Emory.

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