Gerome Ragni - Obituary
Variety July 22, 1991

Gerome Ragni, 48, the actor who co-wrote the musical hair, died July 10 in New york of cancer.

Ragni composed the book and lyrics for the hit show with james Rado, while Galt MacDermot composed the music.  Portraying 1960s flower children, and tackling issues like drugs, racism and the Vietnam War, Hair opened at the New York Shakespeare Festival OCtober 29, 1967.  After a short run there, it was rewritten and restaged for BRoadway and ran for 1,750 performances.  Within 10 years, the often-performed musical earned $80 million from its various companies.

The show produced hit songs, including "Aquarius," and caused a sensation with its nude scene.  Milos Foreman directed the 1979 film version, which featured choreography by Twyla Tharp and starred treat Williams and Beverly D'Angelo.

On Broadway, Ragni played the lead role of Berger.  Diane Keaton also appeared in the original cast.

Ragni later collaborated with MacDermot on the 1972 musical "Dude", a box office failure.  With Stephen Margoshes, Ragni also wrote "Jack Sound And His Dog Star Blowing His Final Trumpet On The Day Of Doom," which was performed at the Ensemble Studio Theater in 1977.

More recently, Ragni worked on another musical "Sun", with Rado and MacDermot.  It has not been produced.

A native of Pittsburgh, Ragni acted in Broadway productions before writing Hair.  He appeared with Richard Burton in a 1964 production of "HAmlet," directed by John Gielgud.  It was taped and released theatrically.  Ragni also acted in "Viet Rock" and "The Knack" Off Broadway.  In addition, Ragni co-starred with Rado in Agnes Varda's 1969 film "Lion's Love."

Survived by his wife Stephanie Williams Ragni; his son, Erick; his mother; five sisters; and two brothers.

Copyright Variety.

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