Neil Simon, prolific playwright and screenwriter, dies at 91

Neil Simon

American playwright Neil Simon has passed away at the age of 91, Just Jared can confirm.

A prolific and beloved playwright, screenwriter and jokesmith, Simon had some 30 Broadway hits spanning four decades - including "Barefoot in the Park" (1963), "The Odd Couple" (1965), "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" (1971), "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1983) and "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" (1993).

Most of the great Simon comedies combined a profound understanding of the striving imperfections and familial love embodied in the lives of most ordinary, working-class Jewish families.

In a 1997 interview with The Washington Post, Simon noted: "I know that I have reached the pinnacle of rewards".

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". "I thought it was a grim, dark play about two lonely men", he told the Paris Review in 1994, in an interview conducted by "Inside the Actors Studio's" James Lipton. She suffered the most in all of it.

Perhaps Simon's most infamous production was the critically panned Rose's Dilemma, which opened at off-Broadway's non-profit Manhattan Theatre Club in December 2003. Simon was mostly raised by his mom and was mentored by his older brother Danny. "Based on what? How amusing could I be at 15?" Simon studied at NYU and the University of Denver while serving in the US Army Air Force Reserve.

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Looking to get into writing for the stage, Simon launched on Broadway with Come Blow Your Horn and Little Me, which starred Caesar. My job allowed me to stand in the back of the house and watch it repeatedly. They said, No, no, no.

At one point, in the late 1960s, he had four shows on Broadway at once. He was also a Pulitzer Prize victor, among many other honors during a lengthy career.

His later film career included adaptations of his own plays, like 1968's The Odd Couple starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, for which all three returned for a sequel thirty years later.

"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.

Even in mint condition, it's not clear his best works can ever mean to contemporary or future audiences what they once did to a much-different America. "For nearly half a century, his comedies have offered light at the end of whatever dark tunnel America has found itself in", John Lahr wrote for The New Yorker in 2010. He began his tweet tribute with a quote by Simon himself. "I really was in the mood to sort of go back and write just out-and-out amusing, because it's what I felt I needed in my own life".

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