Once Upon a Mattress Scribe Mary Rodgers Guettel Has Died

Rodgers was also the author of the novel ”Freaky Friday”.

Tony nominated Broadway composer Mary Rodgers has died at the age of 83.
Tony-nominated Broadway composer Mary Rodgers has died at the age of 83.
(© Joseph Marzullo)

Mary Rodgers Guettel, the Tony-nominated songwriter behind the musicals Once Upon a Mattress and Working, has died at the age of 83, according to various sources.

Born January 11, 1931, Rodgers was the daughter of Broadway composer Richard Rodgers and his wife, Dorothy. Her own Broadway career began in 1959 with Once Upon a Mattress, which was coauthored with Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer, and Dean Fuller, and originally starred Carol Burnett. For this musical, which was last seen on Broadway in a 1996 revival, Rodgers received her first Tony nomination.

Rodgers' many other theatrical credits include songs for Working (for which she received a second Tony nomination), as well as Hot Spot, The Mad Woman of Central Park West, and off-Broadway's The Mad Show. Her musicals are celebrated in the revue Hey, Love.

As an author of young-adult fiction, Rodgers is most notably known as the scribe of the book Freaky Friday, which was turned into 1977 film featuring a screenplay by Rodgers and starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster. It was remade in 2003, with a cast led by Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Mary Rodgers Guettel is predeceased by her husband, Henry Guettel, who died in October 2013. She is survived by her sister Linda, her five children, including Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist Adam Guettel, and seven grandchildren.