Longtime friend Bill Evans announced his death early Sunday in a NY hospital of complications from pneumonia. Like The Odd Couple, that award-winning show would go on to also become a Hollywood film.
In the 1960s, at the height of his success, with 4 plays running on Broadway, Simon was earning about $60,000 a week and easily double that thanks to royalties, The New Yorker reported in 2010.
The loss of Simon was especially hard for playwrights and screenwriters.
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Neither side could carve out another clear-cut chance as the half went on, as they went into the halftime break level pegging. It was just the bit of luck that Emery was searching for as Arsenal struggled to control the game for long stretches.
His influence has been felt through the generations, The New York Times drawing a line between Simon's early comedies and the character-based comedy in the 1990s hit sitcom "Seinfeld". "With gratitude, Doc", wrote Bill Prady, television writer and producer of shows like "The Big Bang Theory".
The bespectacled, mild-looking Simon (described in a New York Times magazine profile as looking like an accountant or librarian who dressed "just this side of drab") was a relentless writer - and rewriter.
In 1991, Simon achieved the highest honor in U.S. drama, winning the Pulitzer Prize for "Lost in Yonkers", an autobiographical comedy about a mother and her daughter that was his last big splash on Broadway. Simon wrote more than 30 plays that had great runs on the Great White Way.
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Mr Obama went on claiming that "few of us have been tested John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did". A conservative on most issues, he pushed for campaign finance reform and the effort to account for those missing in Vietnam.
Simon's own life figured most prominently in what became known as his "Brighton Beach" trilogy - "Brighton Beach Memoirs", "Biloxi Blues" and "Broadway Bound" - which many consider his finest works. Quinn Cummings, the child star of "The Goodbye Girl" and now a writer herself, said simply, "No one ever looks funnier than when Neil Simon's words are coming out of their mouths".
Simon served in the military and then worked with his older brother Danny on producing jokes for television and radio scripts. He also succeeded with musicals, collaborating on Little Me, Sweet Charity, Promises, Promises, and They're Playing Our Song.
Mr. Simon was often noted as the most commercially successful American playwright of the latter half of the 20th century.
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Actress Marsha Mason says playwright Neil Simon, to whom she was married for a decade, will be "sorely missed" but that his work will live on. His wife, Elaine Joyce Simon, was at his bedside with his daughters Ellen Simon and Nancy Simon. "I owe him a career", Broderick wrote. And it won Simon another Tony for best play in 1985. "The theater has lost a brilliantly amusing, unthinkably wonderful writer and even after all this time I feel I have lost a mentor, a father figure, a deep influence in my life and work".