NEIL SIMON DIES AT 91

The acclaimed playwright Neil Simon has died. He was 91. The prolific, Pulitzer Prize-winning creator is beloved for classic comedies including The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, The Sunshine Boys and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Simon was one of the most commercially successful writers in American history, and became a mainstay in the entertainment industry for six decades. His first big hit was Broadway’s Come Blow Your Horn in 1961. Simon wrote more than 30 plays, and in addition to earning the Pulitzer, won four Tony Awards, a Golden Globe and Kennedy Center Honor. In 1983, he became the first (and thus far, the only) living playwright to have a Broadway theater named after him. He died of complications from pneumonia at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, according to a statement from his longtime friend and publicist, Bill Evans. He is survived by his wife Elaine Joyce, whom he married in 1999. Simon was married five times, including to first wife Joan Baim (who died of cancer in 1973), actress Marsha Mason and to Diane Lander, twice (1987-1988 and then again from 1990-1998). His two daughters with Baim, Ellen and Nancy, and Lander’s daughter from a previous marriage, Bryn, whom Simon adopted, as well as three grandchildren and a great-grandson.

Most people remember him for "The Odd Couple," which became a play, a movie, and several TV shows. My favorite has always been "The Goodbye Girl," for which his then-wife Marsha Mason won the Oscar. 

 
 
 
 

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