Neil Simon: Celebrated US playwright dies aged 91

Neil Simon: Celebrated US playwright dies aged 91

Simon's other honors include membership in the American Theatre Hall of Fame, the New York State Governor's Award, the Kennedy Center Honors and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

In 1979, Simon won the Lifetime Achievement Laurel Award from the Writers Guild of America. He will be long remembered for setting a new tone in theatrical comedy, and was a pioneer of the stage and screen. Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote of "Biloxi Blues" (1985) that Simon "at last begins to examine himself honestly, without compromises, and as a result is his most persuasively serious effort". According to a report by TMZ, he passed away on around 1 a.m. ET on Sunday morning, suffering from complications due to pneumonia.

"For nearly half a century, his comedies have offered light at the end of whatever dark tunnel America has found itself in", John Lahr of The New Yorker wrote in 2010.

United States playwright Neil Simon, whose name was synonymous with Broadway comedy and theatre, has died in NY. Not only did he have award-winning plays, but he also earned four Academy Award nominations, four Emmys, and 17 Tony nominations.

Neil Simon, the acclaimed American writer whose stage plays and films, like The Odd Couple and The Out-of-Towners, helped shape generations of American comedy, had died.

"He could write a joke that would make you laugh, define the character, the situation, and even the world's problems", actor Harvey Fierstein wrote on Twitter. "They are not all bad or all good; they are people we know".

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"There is no American comedy writer whose work isn't influenced by the rhythm and music of Neil Simon's words". There, he worked for the Army newspaper as a sports editor. He is survived by three children, and a memorial service is already scheduled for this Thursday in New York City. I didn't realize until someone said after the first reading that the play was really a love letter to my mother!

"Barefoot in the Park" turned Robert Redford into a star.

The Odd Couple also became a hugely successful TV show that ran for five seasons in the 1970s, and enjoyed countless re-runs over the decades on both sides of the Atlantic.

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

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

NEW YORK (AP) - The playwright behind such comedic hits such as "The Odd Couple" and "Plaza Suite", has died.

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