American Playwright Neil Simon Dies at Age 91 From Complications of Pneumonia

Neil Simon
Playwright, screenwriter, author Neil Simon photographed in 1981. Jack Mitchell/Getty

Leaving behind a legacy. American playwright Neil Simon has died at the age of 91, his rep has confirmed to Us Weekly.

TMZ reports that the author passed away around 1 a.m. on Sunday, August 26, after being taken off life support.

A rep for Simon told the website that the Tony and Oscar winner’s death was due to complications from pneumonia.

The writer had previously received a kidney transplant in 2004 from longtime friend and publicist Bill Evans.

Simons was best known for his Broadway hits such as Come Blow Your Horn (1961), The Odd Couple (1965), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1982) and Biloxi Blues (1985), as well as for films such as The Out of Towners (1970) and Lost in Younkers (1991), for which he won the Pulitzer Prize.

He was highly prolific, penning more than 30 plays in his lifetime, many of which were adapted into screenplays.

Simon’s last works were the off-Broadway show Rose’s Dilemma (2003) and the made-for-TV movie The Goodbye Girl (2004).

He spoke of his craft in his 2016 book, Neil Simon’s Memoirs, saying, “For a man who wants to be his own master, to depend on no one else, to make life conform, to his own visions rather than to follow the blueprints of others, playwrighting is the perfect occupation.”

The Bronx native is survived by his wife of 19 years, actress Elaine Joyce Simon, and his three daughters, Nancy and Ellen, whom he shared with first wife, the late Joan Baim, and Bryn, whom he shares with his ex-wife twice over Diane Lander (The couple divorced a year after their first marriage in 1987 only to remarry in 1990 before ultimately splitting in 1998). He was also previously married to actress Marsha Mason.

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