United States playwright Neil Simon dies aged 91

Playwright Neil Simon has died at the age of 91

Simon is famous for plays and musicals that dominated Broadway, such as "The Odd Couple", "Lost in Yonkers" and "Barefoot in the Park".

Neil Simon died in NY on Aug 26, 2018.

In 2006, he won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour, which honours work that draws from the American experience. Simon spoke later of the enormous influence these jobs had on his career, particularly the opportunity to work with some of the day's finest comedy writers: "I knew when I walked into 'Your Show of Shows, ' that this was the most talented group of writers that up until that time had ever been assembled together". But what made Simon's plays work at their best was not just the jokes but the universality of the neurotic relations he mined between men and women, men and men, and parents and children.

Neil was born in the Bronx, New York, and went on to study at the New York University as well as the University Of Denver, Colorado, while he also served in the United States Army Air Force Reserve. "I have no reason to write another play except that I am alive and I like to do it". His own hit play The Odd Couple would later get a few sitcom adaptations after becoming a very popular movie starring Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau. And - more than any other single playwright of his generation - he invariably did so to packed Broadway houses and movie theaters, the rooms filled with the laughter of shared American experience.

"My mother and father were gone when I wrote it, so I did tell about the fights and what it was like for me as a kid hearing them". He wrote more than 30 plays in total, and was also nominated for four different Oscars for his screenplays over the years.


Simon attended New York University and the University of Colorado.

Simon began his writing career working with his brother, providing scripts for radio and TV shows, scoring an early job with Sid Caesar's legendary series Your Show Of Shows, which also launched the careers of Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and others. Critically well-received, the 1963 comedy, directed by Mike Nichols, concerned the tribulations of a pair of newlyweds, played by Elizabeth Ashley and Robert Redford, who lived on the top floor of a NY brownstone.

Simon is survived by his wife, actress Elaine Joyce, and his daughters, Nancy, Ellen and Bryn. "The fact is, I probably never would have been a writer if it were not for Danny", he wrote.

Josh Gad said that Simon's work, "as both a participant and audience, has defined and shaped me on my own journies and [career] trajectory".

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