Eminent American playwright Neil Simon died on Sunday at the age of 91. The writer was diagnosed with pneumonia and breathed his last at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. As per media reports, Simon's representative confirmed the news the Pulitzer Prize awardee's demise. Simon was known to be the one who assured a good Broadway advance sales produced over 30 plays including his eminent works, 'Sweet Charity', 'The Star-Spangled Girl', 'The Odd Couple' and 'Barefoot in the Park'. He is the one who dominated the theater for the last half-century and was often denoted as the world’s most popular playwright after Shakespeare.
The dramatist has also produced several comedy dramas including 'The Odd Couple' and 'Barefoot in the Park', which were highly lauded by the audience and the critics. His works were mostly plotted around middle-class urban families and dealt with topics like romance, adultery, divorce, sibling rivalry and health issues. The characters of his plays were often portrayed battling alcoholism and depression.
Simon's works were considered as classics and his auto-biographical plays, 'Brighton Beach Memoirs' and 'Lost in Yonkers' won him several prestigious awards including the Tony and Pulitzer. However, Simon won his first Tony award for the 1965 drama 'The Odd Couple'. He was also an awardee of the Mark Twain Prize, which he received for 'American Humor' in 2006. In fact, in the event, the playwright reportedly revealed that it took him six years to write his first play 'Come Blow Your Horn' which was published in 1961.
Simon had also contributed as one of the writers on the 1950's NBC TV show, 'Your Show of Shows'. He had also scripted for the silver screen, his feature comedy 'After the Fox' was adapted as a film in 1966. His first Hollywood hit was 'The Out-of-Towners' which starred Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis. The eminent playwright is survived by his fourth wife, actress Elaine Joyce whom he married in 1999 after his second-time divorce with third wife Diane Lander; daughters Ellen Simon and Nancy Simon, from his first wife; and daughter Bryn Lander Simon, from his relationship with Diane; three grandchildren and one great-grandson.
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