Tony award-winning United States playwright Neil Simon dies at 91

Playwright Neil Simon has died at the age of 91

Neil Simon, the respected and much-honored Tony-award winning playwright, has died at the age of 91. Along with his Oscar nominations and his Tony wins, Simon also won the Mark Twain Prize for Comedy in 2006 and took home Kennedy Center Honors in 1995.

"By any measure-quantity, quality, popular success, renown-Neil Simon is the preeminent purveyor of comedy in the last half of the twentieth century", Paris Review wrote.

Neil Simon has the distinction of being the only writer to have four major Broadway productions all running simultaneously, which happened back in the 60s.

Neil Simon died in NY on Aug 26, 2018. He is survived by wife Elaine Joyce and his three daughters from different marriages, Evans said.

Many of Simon's plays were adapted for movies and TV. I have no reason to write another play except that I am alive and I like to do it'-Neil Simon. Simon also wrote original screenplays as well, like 1970's The Out-of-Towners, 1976's Murder by Death and 1977's The Goodbye Girl. It was a hit from the get-go with critics and audiences during its gestation in Washington, but Simon and Nichols kept making changes, including in the play's ending, right up until it was time to pack up and move to the Plymouth Theater in NY.

Simon gained worldwide fame in the 1960s for stage and screen comedies including The Odd Couple and Barefoot In The Park.

- Hollywood and Broadway actor Matthew Broderick, who in 1983 made his Broadway debut in Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs" and his movie debut in Simon's "Max Dugan Returns".

Simon served in the military and then worked with his older brother Danny on producing jokes for television and radio scripts.

Looking to get into writing for the stage, Simon launched on Broadway with Come Blow Your Horn and Little Me, which starred Caesar.

"In the '70s he turned out "The Prisoner of Second Avenue", "The Sunshine Boys" and "California Suite" while his '80s works included "Brighton Beach Memoirs", Biloxi Blues", "Broadway Bound" and "Rumors".

Simon's former wife and actress Marsha Mason posted a tribute to her ex-husband: "He was a great talent and man, husband and father". 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. His work, as both a participant and audience, has defined and shaped me on my own journeys and career trajectory.

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