Neil Simon Bio
|Marvin Neil Simon was born on 4 July 1927 and died on 26 August 2018. He was an American playwright, screenwriter and author. He wrote more than 30 plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations of his plays. He received more combined Oscar and Tony ominations than any other writer.|
|Born||4 July 1927 The Bronx, New York, U.S.|
|Died||25 August 26, 2018 (aged 91) in Manhattan, New York, U.S.|
|Cause of Death||Complications with Pneumonia|
|Occupation||Playwright, screenwriter, author|
|Education||New York University
University of Denver
Joan Baim (m. 1953; d. 1973)
Marsha Mason (m. 1973; div. 1983)
Diane Lander (m. 1987; div. 1988) (m. 1990; div. 1998)
Elaine Joyce (m. 1999)
|Notable work(s)||Brighton Beach Memoirs
The Odd Couple
Lost in Yonkers
|Awards||Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1991)|
|Net Worth||$ 10 Million as of 2018|
Neil Simon Biography
Simon spent his early childhood in New York City during the Great Depression, with his parents’ financial hardships affecting their marriage, giving him an unhappy and unstable childhood. His parents were Irvin Simon, his father and Mamie Simon, his mother. Hel also had one renown brother, Danny Simon. Simon mostly preferred to spend his time in movie theatres where he enjoyed watching the early comedians like Charlie Chaplin. He spent a few years in the Army Air Force Reserve, and after graduating from high school, he began writing comedy scripts for radio and some popular early television shows. Among them were Sid Caesar Your Show of Shows from 1950 (where he worked alongside other young writers including Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks and Selma Diamond), and The Phil Silvers Show, which ran from 1955 to 1959.
Simon started writing his plays beginning with Come Blow Your Horn (1961), which took him three years to complete and ran for 678 performances on Broadway. It was followed by two more successful plays, Barefoot in the Park (1963) and The Odd Couple (1965), for which he won a Tony Award. It made him a national celebrity and “the hottest new playwright on Broadway.” During the 1960s to 1980s, he wrote both original screenplays and stage plays, with some films based on his plays. His style ranged from romantic comedy to farce to more serious dramatic comedy. Overall, he has garnered 17 Tony nominations and won three. During one season, he had four successful plays running on Broadway at the same time, and in 1983 became the only living playwright to have a New York theatre, the Neil Simon Theatre, named in his honor.
Neil Simon Family
Simon was married five diferent times, to dancer Joan Baim (1953–1973), actress Marsha Mason (1973–1983), twice to actress Diane Lander (1987–1988 and 1990–1998), and to actress Elaine Joyce (1999-2018). His first wife died of bone cancer in 1973. His children are Nancy and Ellen, from his first marriage, and Bryn, Lander’s daughter from a previous relationship whom he adopted. His nephew is U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon and niece-in-law is U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici.
Neil Simon Children
- Nancy Simon – Daughter
- Ellen Simon-Daughter
- Bryn Simon- Daughter
Neil Simon Death and Cause
In 2004, Simon received a kidney transplant from his long-time friend and publicist Bill Evans. He died on 26 August 2018, for Complications with Pneumonia after being on life-support while hospitalized for renal failure. He also had Alzheimer’s disease.
Neil Simon Honors and recognition
Simon has been conferred with three honorary degrees; a Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University, a Doctor of Letters from Marquette University and a Doctor of Laws from Williams College. Simon became the only living playwright to have a New York theatre named after him In 1983. The legitimate Broadway theater the Neil Simon Theatre, formerly the Alvin Theatre, was named in his honor, and he is an honorary member of the Walnut Street Theatre’s board of trustees. Also in 1983, Simon was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
In 1965, he won the Tony Award for Best Playwright (The Odd Couple), and in 1975, a special Tony Award for his overall contribution to American theater. For Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983) he was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, followed by another Tony Award for Best Play of 1985, Biloxi Blues. In 1991 he won the Pulitzer Prize along with the Tony Award for Lost in Yonkers (1991).
The Neil Simon Festival is a professional summer repertory theatre devoted to preserving the works of Simon and his contemporaries. The Neil Simon Festival was founded by Richard Dean Bugg in 2003 and performs at the Heritage Center Theater in Cedar City, Utah.
Tributes on Twitter
"I love living. I have some problems with my life, but living is the best thing they've come up with so far." – Neil Simon pic.twitter.com/VUyLIJ06bl
— Mathew Shaw (@msshaw60) August 26, 2018
One stat that's unlikely ever to be equaled by a living playwright: Neil Simon's work yielded fifty Tony nominations for actors. FIFTY. (And, of course, Oscars for Richard Dreyfuss, George Burns, and Maggie Smith, and many nominations for other performers.)
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) August 26, 2018
Neil Simon (at rear, in glasses) with Sid Caesar and the writing staff of Your Show of Shows, including Mel Brooks (possibly yawning) pic.twitter.com/QrUAMPoPmL
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) August 26, 2018
Neil Simon – gone! A loss 4 the entire entertainment industry.
He could write a joke that would make you laugh, define the character, the situation, and even the world's problems. First time I met him he looked at me and said, "Where the hell did they find you?" What a gent.
— Harvey Fierstein (@HarveyFierstein) August 26, 2018