Neil Simon, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, dies at 91
Neil Simon, the playwright and screenwriter whose indestructible comedies -- including
"The Odd Couple," "Barefoot in the Park," "The Sunshine Boys" and "Brighton Beach Memoirs"
-- made him one of the most successful writers in American history, has died. He was 91.
The cause of death was complications with pneumonia, according to his publicist, Bill Evans.
Simon died around 1 a.m. Sunday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
A member of the famed "Your Show of Shows" writing staff for Sid Caesar, Simon was an
entertainment mainstay for more than six decades. Starting with his first Broadway success,
"Come Blow Your Horn" (1961), there was seldom a time when a Neil Simon work couldn't be
found on stage or screen (or, occasionally, television).
At one point, in the late 1960s, he had four shows on Broadway at once.
Even a partial list of his works summons the comic highlights of late 20th-century American
theater: "Barefoot in the Park." "The Odd Couple." "Sweet Charity." "Plaza Suite." "The Last
of the Red Hot Lovers." "The Prisoner of Second Avenue." "Brighton Beach Memoirs." "Lost in
Yonkers." "Laughter on the 23rd Floor."
And that's just for starters. Simon wrote more than 30 plays.
Add in his original screenplays -- such as "The Out-of-Towners," "The Heartbreak Kid," "The
Goodbye Girl" and "Seems Like Old Times" -- and one can get a sense of Simon's dominance.
Neil Simon was a clutch hitter. When we needed the punchline on Your Show of Shows he delivered. He also delivered 32 plays and over 20 movies. He was one of the sweetest & least jealous writers you could ever work with. For all who knew him, this is a truly sad day.