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Neil Simon Childhood & Birthday, American - 𝐍𝐞𝐢𝐥 𝐒𝐢𝐦𝐨𝐧 Biography
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New Yorkers
Doc
Elaine Joyce (m. 1999)Diane Lander (m. 1990–1998)Joan Baim (m. 1953–1973)Marsha Mason (m. 1973–1981)
Danny Simon
Marvin Neil Simon
Bryn SimonEllen SimonNancy Simon
New York UniversityUniversity of Denver
New York University
The Bronx, New York
Jewish
185
Male
Irving Simon
Mamie Simon
Cancer
The Bronx, New York
91
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Who is Neil Simon?

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Neil Simon was an American playwright and screenwriter. He hasdwritten around thirty plays and same number of movie scripts that have been mainly adapted from his stage writing. He was the writer with most number of Academy Award and Tony Award nominations. Simon started out by writing for television and wrote for successful TV shows like, ‘The Phil Slivers Show’ and ‘Your Shows of Shows’ - his writing received acknowledgement through Emmy Awards. This initial success encouraged him to write his own creative piece and after working on it for three years, he came out with his successful Broadway ‘Come Blow your Horn’ in the early 1960s. There was no looking back for him after it and he wrote more plays and screen scripts. His writing career was so booming that one season he had four successful plays showing on Broadway at the same time and he became the only living playwright who has a theatre named after him - Neil Simon Theatre in New York. Simon’s work ranges from romantic comedy to farce to more serious dramatic comedy. He touched topics like marital conflict, infidelity, sibling rivalry, adolescence, fear of aging, etc. with his writing. Most of his inspiration comes from the source of his unhappy and tormenting childhood, where he faced poverty and volatile marriage of his parents. Writing for him was always a source of emotional stability, a technique he imbibed as a child when he used to take solace in the comedy movies of Charlie Chaplin.

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Neil Simon Childhood & Early Life

Neil Simon was born in The Bronx, New York, to Irving Simon and Mamie Simon. His father was a garment salesman while mother a homemaker. He grew up in Washington Heights with his older brother, Danny Simon.

Most of Simon’s childhood was spent struggling with the Great Depression and his parents’ difficult marriage - his father deserted the family from time to time. To cope with difficulties of his childhood, he took comfort in comedy and writing.

He attended the DeWitt Clinton High School and after clearing the school he joined the Army Air Force Reserve at New York University. He started writing professionally during these years. In 1946, he attended the University of Denver.

Neil Simon Career

After getting discharged from the army and completion of his graduation from the university, Simon took up a job as a mailroom clerk for Warner Brother’s East Coast Office, Manhattan.

A few years later, he quit his job and joined his brother in writing for radio and television. They struggled alongside Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, etc. and wrote for shows like, ‘The Phil Slivers Show’ and ‘Your Show of Shows’.

Simon was nominated for Emmy several times for his TV writing, which inspired him to move to theatre and in 1961, his first Broadway, ‘Come Blow Your Horn’ was released at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. It ran for 678 performances.

Soon Simon was known as the ‘hottest new playwright on Broadway’ and he released more productions––‘Barefoot in the Park (1963), ‘The Old Couple (1965)’, ‘Plaza Suite (1968)’, ‘The Gingerbread Lady (1970)’, ‘The Good Doctor (1973)’, ‘Chapter Two (1977)’, etc.

Although his plays were smash hits and audiences loved the elements he touched with his writing like satire, romance, family clashes, difficult marriages etc. but the critics continued to detest him and called him a mere ‘writer of gags’.

Simon went through a low period and faced failures with ‘The Good Doctor (1973)’ and ‘God’s Favorite (1976)’. Although, when he moved to California, his writing revived and he produced classics like, ‘California Suite (1978)’ and ‘Chapter Two (1979)’.

By this time, he had entered into movies and wrote screenplays for at least 20 movies. Although it did not interest him much as his love for theatre writing was way greater.

Even so, when his plays were offered to be turned into movies by producers, Simon took the charge of converting them into screenplays himself so as to control the quality of the product.

Some of his writings adapted for movies and television are: ‘The Heartbreak Kid (1972)’, ‘Seems Like Old Times (1980)’, ‘Max Dugan Returns (1983)’, ‘The Slugger’s Wife (1985)’, ‘The Sunshine Boys (1995)’, ‘Laughter on the 23rd Floor (2001)’, etc.

Neil Simon Major Works

Although Simon actively wrote for television, movies and theatre but his contribution as a playwright is considered to be most prominent. He wrote award winning Broadways like, ‘The Old Couple (1965)’, ‘Lost in Yonkers (1991)’.

Neil Simon Personal Life & Legacy

Simon was married five times. These included to dancer Joan Baim (1953-73), actress Marsha Mason (1973-1981), twice to Diane Lander (1987-1988 and 1990-1998) and actress Elaine Joyce (1999-present).

He had three children: Nancy and Ellen (from his first marriage) and Bryn who is Diane Lander’s daughter from her previous marriage, whom he adopted.

He died of pneumonia on 26 August 2018 at the age of 91. He was also reported to have had Alzheimer’s disease.

Neil Simon Trivia

He was on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

Simon received several academic honors like: Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University and a Doctor of Laws from Williams College.

He was the only living playwright to have a New York theatre named after him - Neil Simon Theatre.

He was an honorary member of the Walnut Street Theatre's board of trustees.

He had received four Academy Award nominations for his screenplays.

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Neil Simon awards

  • Other

    • 1965
      Tony Award for Best Author
    • 1978
      Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
    • 1995
      Kennedy Center Honor
    • 1996
      Helmerich Award
    • 1969
      Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Comedy
    • 1970
      Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written Comedy
    • 1972 Writers Guild of America Award The Trouble With People
    • - David di Donatello Special Award
    • 1971
      Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Comedy
    • 1957 Emmy Award for Your Show of Shows
    • 1959 Emmy Award for The Phil Silvers Show
    • 1967 Evening Standard Award – Barefoot in the Park
    • 1968 Sam S. Shubert Award – Sweet Charity
    • 1972 Cue Entertainer of the Year Award
    • 1975 Special Tony Award for contribution to theatre
    • 1975 Writers Guild of America Award The Goodbye Girl
    • 1978 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay – The Goodbye Girl
    • 1979 Writers Guild of America Award Laurel Award
    • 1981 Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University
    • 1983 American Theatre Hall of Fame
    • 1983 New York Drama Critics Circle Award – Brighton Beach Memoirs
    • 1983 Outer Critics Circle Award – Brighton Beach Memoirs
    • 1986 New York State Governor's Award
    • 1989 American Comedy Awards Lifetime Achievement
    • 1991 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play – Lost in Yonkers
    • 1995 Kennedy Center Honoree
    • 1996 William Inge Theatre Festival Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater
    • 1991 - Pulitzer Prize for Drama
    • 2006 - Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
    • 1965 - Tony Award for Best Play
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Neil Simon biography timelines

  • Neil Simon was born in The Bronx, New York, to Irving Simon and Mamie Simon. His father was a garment salesman while mother a homemaker. He grew up in Washington Heights with his older brother, Danny Simon.
    4th Jul 1927
  • He attended the DeWitt Clinton High School and after clearing the school he joined the Army Air Force Reserve at New York University. He started writing professionally during these years. In 1946, he attended the University of Denver.
    1946
  • Simon was married five times. These included to dancer Joan Baim (1953-73), actress Marsha Mason (1973-1981), twice to Diane Lander (1987-1988 and 1990-1998) and actress Elaine Joyce (1999-present).
    1953
  • Simon was nominated for Emmy several times for his TV writing, which inspired him to move to theatre and in 1961, his first Broadway, ‘Come Blow Your Horn’ was released at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. It ran for 678 performances.
    1961
  • Soon Simon was known as the ‘hottest new playwright on Broadway’ and he released more productions––‘Barefoot in the Park (1963), ‘The Old Couple (1965)’, ‘Plaza Suite (1968)’, ‘The Gingerbread Lady (1970)’, ‘The Good Doctor (1973)’, ‘Chapter Two (1977)’, etc.
    1963 To 1977
  • Although Simon actively wrote for television, movies and theatre but his contribution as a playwright is considered to be most prominent. He wrote award winning Broadways like, ‘The Old Couple (1965)’, ‘Lost in Yonkers (1991)’.
    1965 To 1991
  • Some of his writings adapted for movies and television are: ‘The Heartbreak Kid (1972)’, ‘Seems Like Old Times (1980)’, ‘Max Dugan Returns (1983)’, ‘The Slugger’s Wife (1985)’, ‘The Sunshine Boys (1995)’, ‘Laughter on the 23rd Floor (2001)’, etc.
    1972 To 2001
  • Simon went through a low period and faced failures with ‘The Good Doctor (1973)’ and ‘God’s Favorite (1976)’. Although, when he moved to California, his writing revived and he produced classics like, ‘California Suite (1978)’ and ‘Chapter Two (1979)’.
    1973 To 1979
  • He died of pneumonia on 26 August 2018 at the age of 91. He was also reported to have had Alzheimer’s disease.
    26th Aug 2018
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Frequently asked questions about Neil Simon

  • What is Neil Simon birthday?

    Neil Simon was born at July 4, 1927

  • Where is Neil Simon's birth place?

    Neil Simon was born in The Bronx, New York

  • What is Neil Simon nationalities?

    Neil Simon's nationalities is American

  • What is Neil Simon nick names?

    Neil Simon's nickNames is Doc

  • Who is Neil Simon spouses?

    Neil Simon's spouses is Elaine Joyce (m. 1999), Diane Lander (m. 1990–1998), Joan Baim (m. 1953–1973), Marsha Mason (m. 1973–1981)

  • Who is Neil Simon siblings?

    Neil Simon's siblings is Danny Simon

  • Who is Neil Simon childrens?

    Neil Simon's childrens is Bryn Simon, Ellen Simon, Nancy Simon

  • What was Neil Simon universities?

    Neil Simon studied at New York University, University of Denver university

  • What was Neil Simon notable alumnis?

    Neil Simon's notable alumnis is New York University

  • What is Neil Simon's religion?

    Neil Simon's religion is Jewish

  • How tall is Neil Simon?

    Neil Simon's height is 185

  • Who is Neil Simon's father?

    Neil Simon's father is Irving Simon

  • Who is Neil Simon's mother?

    Neil Simon's mother is Mamie Simon

  • What is Neil Simon's sun sign?

    Neil Simon is Cancer

  • When was Neil Simon died?

    Neil Simon was died at August 26, 2018

  • Which age was Neil Simon died?

    Neil Simon was died at age 91