Aug. 26 (UPI) — The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues and Lost in Yonkers playwright Neil Simon died Sunday morning at the age of 91.
TMZ reported the Pulitzer Prize-winning scribe had been suffering from kidney failure, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Playbill.com gave the cause of his death as pneumonia.
Simon’s other works include the plays Come Blow Your Horn, Barefoot in the Park, Promises, Promises and The Sunshine Boys. Most of his stage comedies were adapted as successful films and he also wrote the original screenplays for the classic movies The Goodbye Girl, The Heartbreak Kid, The Out-of-Towners and Murder by Death.
Simon was a three-time Tony winner, Kennedy Center honoree and recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Broadway icon Harvey Fierstein was among the first of many luminaries to pay homage to Simon on social media. “Neil Simon – gone! A loss 4 the entire entertainment industry. He could write a joke that would make you laugh, define the character, the situation, and even the world’s problems. First time I met him he looked at me and said, “Where the hell did they find you?” What a gent,” Fierstein wrote.
“A lot of my heroes are dying. What a sad few weeks this has been. #RIPNeilSimon,” actress and television personality Yvette Nicole Brown tweeted.
“Much respect to the genius #NeilSimon I had the honor of being in 3 of his Broadway plays and 4 of his movies. And I am forever grateful to him. The world has lost one of its brightest and kindest,” Jonathan Silverman said.
“The final curtain has fallen for one of the gods of Broadway. Multiple #TonyAwards-winning playwright, librettist, screenwriter, and hitmaker Neil Simon has died at 91. Rest in peace,” said the official Tony Awards Twitter feed.
“There’s no more money anyone can pay me that I need. There are no awards they can give me that I haven’t won. I have no reason to write another play except that I am alive and I like to do it” — Neil Simon #RIP GIANT of the American Theatre #ThanksForTheLaughs,” actor Mark Hamill said in his own post.