Prolific US playwright Neil Simon dead at 91

Prolific US playwright Neil Simon dead at 91

Prolific US playwright Neil Simon dead at 91

U.S. playwright Neil Simon, who became one of Broadway's most prolific and popular playwrights as he combined humour, drama and introspection in works such as "The Odd Couple", "The Goodbye Girl" and "Lost in Yonkers", died on Sunday at the age of 91, his representatives said. He succumbed to complications from pneumonia over the weekend, passing away at a New York-Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan.

Simon is survived by his wife, actress Elaine Joyce, and his daughters, Nancy, Ellen and Bryn.

He won Tony Awards for The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues, and Lost in Yonkers and a fourth for his overall contribution to American theatre. Many of his plays were adapted into movies, and one, "The Odd Couple", even became a popular television series.

During one season, Simon had four plays running simultaneously on Broadway, and he was also the first playwright to have a Broadway theatre named after him.

- Tony Award-winning actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein, via Twitter. He had many other successes, including "Promises, Promises", and "The Sunshine Boys". He was raised mostly by his strong-willed mother, Mamie, and mentored by his older brother, Danny, who nicknamed his younger sibling, Doc.

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In 1992, he told The Paris Review, "I don't write social and political plays, because I've always thought the family was the microcosm of what goes on in the world". There was delicious slapstick, to be sure: The poker players chasing after the disconsolate, newly divorced Felix to make sure he didn't harm himself. "Laughter on the 23rd Floor". "I hope I will keep my equilibrium and sense of humour when I'm told I haven't achieved it", Simon once said about his voluminous output of work. And in the theater, the trilogy, like so much of Simon's work, revealed itself as a singular gallery of wacky characters, inextricably bound together by love.

Prolific American playwright Neil Simon has died at age 91.

Simon also was a master of probing the relationships of opposites, most famously in "The Odd Couple", a beloved comedy that looked at two roommates, the schlubby Oscar Madison (Matthau in the 1968 film) and the fastidious Felix Unger (Jack Lemmon). It had barely closed when Simon's next play, "Little Me", opened on Broadway, starring Caesar in multiple roles and with choreography by Bob Fosse.

Simon received Kennedy Center honors in 1995 from President Bill Clinton for his contribution to the arts and to popular culture in the 20th century.

Many of his works are classics of 20th century American theater and Simon has been credited with playing a seminal role - along with film director Woody Allen - in re-crafting U.S. humor in the 1960s and 1970s.

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