Neil Simon dies at 91

Tributes to Odd Couple writer

by Amber Wilkinson

Neil Simon with Cy Coleman in 1982
Neil Simon with Cy Coleman in 1982 Photo: AP

Neil Simon has died at the age of 91, following complications from pneumonia.

Much of the playwright's comedy work, including The Odd Couple, Barefoot In The Park, The Sunshine Boys and Biloxi Blues were also adapted into hits for the big and small screens.

He also wrote original screenplays including The Heartbreak Kid and The Out Of Towners.

The New York-born writer wrote for comedy stars including Phil Silvers and Sid Caesar before forging a career on Broadway, which began with Come Blow Your Horn in 1961.

Last night, stars paid tribute to him on Twitter. Danny DeVito, who starred in a stage revival of The Sunshine Boys with Richard Griffiths, wrote: "Neil Simon the true Sunshine Boy. Happy I got to have fun with him. Peace."

Actor Vincent D'Onofrio described him as "a genius".

And Mrs Doubtfire writer Randi Mayhem Singer wrote: "If you write comedy, if you write period, you learned something from Neil Simon. A truly great American storyteller. RIP."

One of his representatives said his wife Elaine Joyce Simon and daughters Ellen and Nancy were at his bedside when he died.

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