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m3n4.net September 21, 2018


Legendary Playwright Neil Simon Dies at 91

27 August 2018, 04:30 | Ivan Casey

Playwright Neil Simon has died at the age of 91

Playwright Neil Simon has died at the age of 91

A statement from his reps said, "Neil Simon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, died last night at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City".

Neil Simon was one of the world's most successful playwrights.

His filmography on IMDB lists 100 credits.

Mark Hamill called Simon a "giant of the American theatre". Playwright Kristoffer Diaz said simply: "This hurts".

His commercial success was not always accompanied by acclaim, with some critics discounting his plays as lighter fare and others saying that they steered away from weighty political and social issues.

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More recently, The Odd Couple was adapted for television (again) by CBS with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon.

Simon also wrote screenplays that were not based on existing stage plays, such as "The Heartbreak Kid" (1972), "Murder by Death" (1976) and "The Odd Couple II" (1998).

Simon was the recipient of four Tony Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, the Kennedy Center honors (1995), four Writers Guild of America Awards and an American Comedy Awards Lifetime Achievement honor.

Big Bang Theory creator Bill Prady said there was "no American comedy writer whose work isn't influenced by the rhythm and music of Neil Simon's words".

In 2012, Northlight meant to stage a high-profile revival of "The Odd Couple" with Tim Kazurinsky and George Wendt; in the end, the actor Marc Grapey, who had understudied Lane and Broderick on Broadway in a revival of the same show, went on for the ailing Wendt.

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"I know that I have reached the pinnacle of rewards", he said. He wrote his first Broadway play in 1961 with Come Blow Your Horn. Even if my own taste was already evolving more toward Albee, it remains to this day the funniest production of anything I've ever seen in the theater. First time I met him he looked at me and said, "Where the hell did they find you?"

A new Simon play nearly every theatrical season was a Broadway staple from 1960 through the mid-1990s, placing him in the ranks of America's top playwrights. It was to have run in repertory with Simon's "Broadway Bound", which was also canceled.

"No playwright in Broadway's long and raucous history has so dominated the boulevard as the softly astringent Simon", The New Yorker's John Lahr wrote in 2010.

"I am most alive and most fulfilled sitting alone in a room, hoping that those words forming on the paper in the Smith-Corona will be the first ideal play ever written in a single draft", Simon wrote in the introduction to one of the many anthologies of his plays.

He was also known as a king of comedy, peppering his plays with a heavy dose of witty one-liners.

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