The Latest: Broadway mourns death of playwright Neil Simon

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the death of playwright Neil Simon (all times local):

1:40 p.m.

Actors, writers and other celebrities are taking to social media to pay tribute to Neil Simon, the American theater’s most successful and prolific playwright in the second half of the 20th century.

“Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill tweeted that Simon was a “GIANT of the American Theatre.”

Randi Mayem Singer, whose screenwriting credits include the 1993 hit “Mrs. Doubtfire,” tweeted that, “If you write comedy, if you write period, you learned something from Neil Simon. A truly great American storyteller.”

Television journalist Dan Rather said Simon “brought a unique eye for life to stage and screen.” Rather says Simon’s sharp characters and dialogue prodded his audience, in laughter and tears, “to contend with the traits that make us human.”

Simon died Sunday at age 91. His classic comedies include “The Odd Couple” and “The Sunshine Boys.”

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12:50 p.m.

Tributes are pouring in for Neil Simon, the Broadway playwright behind classic such comedies as “The Odd Couple” and “The Sunshine Boys.”

Tony award-winning actor Harvey Fierstein said that Simon “could write a joke that would make you laugh, define the character, the situation, and even the world’s problems.”

Playwright Kristoffer Diaz says: “In a different life, I would have loved to have been my generation’s Neil Simon. I’m sad that we don’t have that kind of voice.”

Actor Josh Gad called Simon “one of the primary influences on my life and career.”

Simon died Sunday at age 91. He was the American theater’s most successful and prolific playwright in the second half of the 20th century. He won three regular Tonys, plus one for special achievement, as well as a Pulitzer and the Mark Twain prize for humor.

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11:50 a.m.

The playwright behind such comedic hits such as “The Odd Couple” and “Plaza Suite,” has died. Neil Simon was 91.

According to Bill Evans, Simon’s longtime friend and the Shubert Organization director of media relations, the playwright died early Sunday of complications from pneumonia in a Manhattan hospital.

Simon was the American theater’s most successful and prolific playwright in the second half of the 20th century. He won three regular Tonys, plus one for special achievement, as well as a Pulitzer and the Mark Twain prize for humor.

Simon’s successes included “The Sunshine Boys,” ”Plaza Suite” and “Sweet Charity.” Many of his plays were adapted into movies and one, “The Odd Couple,” became a popular TV series.

Categories: National News