Neil Simon Dead - Famed Playwright Passes Away at 91


"There are no awards they can give me that I haven't won".

Simon's own life figured most prominently in what became known as his Brighton Beach trilogy - Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound - which many consider his finest works. The New Yorker credits him with "pioneering...the genre of situation comedy" on television, including The Phil Silvers Show on the small screen.

According to TMZ, Simon died early Sunday morning after having been on life support for some time; he had a failing kidney, as well as Alzheimer's Disease and dementia.

Beloved playwright Neil Simon passed away on Sunday, and he was honored by none other than Mark Hamill on Twitter.

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. "They are not all bad or all good; they are people we know".

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Neil Simon, Michael Douglas and Herbert Ross at the 1978 Golden Globes. There, he worked for the Army newspaper as a sports editor.

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". 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 was a powerhouse in the American theater world.

In 1981, Smon would adapt his stage play The Gingerbread Lady into the movie Only When I Laugh, which was nominated for three Oscars. The show was rebooted in 2015 on CBS starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon.

Simon was called "not just a show business success but an institution" by one NY critic.

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Simon's successes included The Sunshine Boys, Lost in Yonkers, and the musicals Sweet Charity and Little Me.

Simon had a rare stumble in the fall of 2009, when a Broadway revival of his "Brighton Beach Memoirs" closed abruptly after only nine performances because of poor ticket sales.

Lost in Yonkers (1990), a painfully amusing story about the relationship between an abusive mother and her grown children, also won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1991.

A statement from his representatives provided to Fox News confirms that his wife, Elaine Joyce Simon, and two daughters, Ellen and Nancy, were by his side when he died. Neil Simon's death was reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

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