Neil Simon was an American playwright, screenwriter and author.
Simon grew up in New York City during the Great Depression. After a few years in the Army Air Force Reserve, and after graduating from high school, he began writing comedy scripts for radio and some popular early television shows. Among them were The Garry Moore Show, The Phil Silvers Show, and, most notably, Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour (where he worked alongside other young writers including Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks).
He began writing his own plays beginning with Come Blow Your Horn, which took him three years to complete and ran for 678 performances on Broadway. It was followed by two more successful plays, Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple (which had several incarnations as a television series). Those successful productions were followed by others, including Chapter Two, They're Playing Our Song, I Ought to Be in Pictures, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, and Laughter on the 23rd Floor.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, Simon wrote screenplays for more than twenty films, and he received four Academy Award nominations for his screenplays. Some of his screenplays are adaptations of his own plays, along with some original work, including The Out-of-Towners, Murder by Death, and The Goodbye Girl.
Overall, he garnered 17 Tony nominations and won three. During one season, he had four successful plays running on Broadway at the same time, and in 1983 became the only living playwright to have a New York theatre, the Neil Simon Theatre, named in his honor.
Simon died August 26, 2018, in New York City, New York. He was 91.