Who was Neil Simon?
American playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon (1927-2018) is widely regarded as one of the most successful, prolific, and performed playwrights in theatre history. In addition to Lost In Yonkers, which won a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, his plays and musicals include Come Blow Your Horn, Little Me, Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, Plaza Suite, Promises, Promises, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Gingerbread Lady, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Sunshine Boys, The Good Doctor, God’s Favorite, California Suite, Chapter Two, They’re Playing Our Song, I Ought to be in Pictures, Fools, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, The Odd Couple (female version), Broadway Bound, Rumors, Jake’s Women, The Goodbye Girl, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, London Suite, Proposals, Hotel Suite, The Dinner Party, 45 Seconds from Broadway, Oscar and Felix, and Rose’s Dilemma.
In addition to the film adaptations he wrote of many of his plays, his screenplay credits include After the Fox, The Out-Of-Towners, The Heartbreak Kid (original 1973 version), Murder by Death, The Cheap Detective, Seems Like Old Times, Only When I Laugh, Max Dugan Returns, The Slugger’s Wife, The Marrying Man and The Odd Couple II. Other motion pictures based on stage plays include Come Blow Your Horn, Sweet Charity and The Star-Spangled Girl. For television, Simon wrote series, teleplays, and motion pictures including The Tallulah Bankhead Show, The Sid Caesar Show, The Phil Silvers Arrow Show, The Phil Silvers Show, The Garry Moore Show, The Trouble with People, ABC’s Broadway Bound, and Jake’s Women.
Books by Neil Simon include Rewrites, A Memoir, The Play Goes On, four omnibus collections of Neil Simon’s plays (The Comedy Of Neil Simon, The Collected Plays Of Neil Simon, Vol. II, The Collected Plays Of Neil Simon, Vol. 3, The Collected Plays Of Neil Simon, Vol. 4), and Lost In Yonkers (screenplay).
Simon received more Academy and Tony Award nominations than any other writer. Awards he received include the Pulitzer Prize for Lost In Yonkers, Emmy Awards for The Sid Caesar Show and The Phil Silvers Show, Tony Awards for The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues, and Lost In Yonkers, and a special Tony Award for Overall Contribution to the Theatre. His nominations include Tony Award Nominations for Little Me, Barefoot in the Park, Plaza Suite, Promises, Promises, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, Lost in Yonkers, and The Goodbye Girl (musical). Other nominations include a Writers Guild Screen Award for The Odd Couple and The Out-Of-Towners, a Writers Guild Laurel Award, an American Comedy Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a Writers Guild Screen Award Nomination for Barefoot in the Park, as well as an Oscar Nomination for The Odd Couple, an Evening Standard Award, a Sam S. Shubert Foundation Award, Kennedy Center Honors, a UCLA Medal, a Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, and a William Inge Theater Festival Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater.