Refresh for updates. An outpouring of fond remembrances is filling the online world as news of Neil Simon’s death spreads. Actors and others who worked with him saluted his career, and those who merely enjoyed his works also shared their thoughts on one of the world’s most popular playwrights.
Simon died last night in New York City at age 91 from pneumonia complications. He was the creator of Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple and countless other major plays, and was also a film screenwriter. His works won him a Pulitizer Prize and several Tony Awards.
Matthew Broderick, who starred in Simon’s Eugene Trilogy and The Odd Couple, issued a statement to Deadline on his passing. “It was my great good fortune that my very first Broadway play was written by Neil Simon. He also wrote my first film. I owe him a career. The theater has lost a brilliantly funny, unthinkably wonderful writer and even after all this time I feel I have lost a mentor, a father figure, a deep influence in my life and work. Love to Neil’s family and to all of us.”
Simon’s “Eugene Trilogy” followed the life of Eugene Jerome and his adolescence in New York City. It was partly based on Simon’s own life. The plays included Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound. Broderick starred in Brighton and Biloxi and reprised his role in the film version of the latter. Jonathan Silver starred in Broadway Bound on stage and in the film adaptation of Brighton while Corey Parker starred in the big-screen version of Broadway Bound.
Nathan Lane also sent a remembrance. “Neil Simon will always be one of my theatrical heroes and I am so proud to have played a small part in his unparalleled career and remarkable legacy. My heartfelt condolences to his wife Elaine and the entire Simon family.”
Read more tweets below, including one from Thomas Lennon, who starred in the CBS comedy adaptation of The Odd Couple..