November 15, 2018

Neil Simon, Celebrated Jewish-American Playwright, Dies at 91

Award winning playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon passed away on Saturday in New York, due to complications of pneumonia.

The Tony, Emmy, Golden Globe and Pulitzer Prize winner had worldwide success with such enduring plays as “The Odd Couple,” “Barefoot in the Park,” “The Sunshine Boys,” “Plaza Suite,” “Lost in Yonkers,” and the trilogy based on his Jewish childhood and early career, “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “Biloxi Blues,” and “Broadway Bound.”

Simon adapted many of his comedies for the movies and also wrote original scripts for films including “The Out-of-Towners,” “The Goodbye Girl” and “Murder by Death.”

He had gotten his start in television, writing in the late 1950s for Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows” and “The Phil Silvers Show,” winning Emmys for both. His 1997 autobiography “The Play Goes On: A Memoir” was a best seller.

His last play was “Rose’s Dilemma” in 2003, and in 2006 he won the Mark Twain Prize For Humor at the Kennedy Center.