Neil Simon dead
Neil Simon deadWikimedia Commons

American playwright, Neil Simon, who made everyone laugh with hits like The Odd Couple, Brighton Beach, and Barefoot in the Park, has died. The writer of 30 plays and nearly same the same number of movie screenplays, was 91.

According to ABC News, Simon died early on Sunday of complications from pneumonia at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

Simon grew up in New York City on July 4, 1927. With a tough childhood, he often took refuge in movie theaters where he enjoyed watching Charlie Chaplin. His first play, Come Blow Your Horn took him almost three years to complete and ran for 678 performances on Broadway. The play was followed by two more successful plays, Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple.

For his drama, Lost in Yonkers, Neil Simon won a Pulitzer Prize in 1991. Here are few quotes by him that showcases his brilliance and proves why he was a true master of comedy:

  1. Sports is the only entertainment where, no matter how many times you go back, you never know the ending.
  2. If no one ever took risks, Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor.
  3. Take care of him. And make him feel important. And if you can do that, you'll have a happy and wonderful marriage. Life two out of every ten couples.
  4. Everyone thinks they can write a play; you just write down what happened to you. But the art of it is drawing from all the moments of your life.
  5. You must realize that honorary degrees are given generally topple whose SAT scores were too low to get them into schools the regular way. As a matter of fact, it was my SAT scores that led me into present vocation in life, comedy.
  6. Nathan lane always wanted to play Oscar. When he came in the first day, he already knew his lines. He said he'd known them since he was 18.
  7. Gee, what a terrific party. Later on, we'll get some fluid and embalm each other.
  8. I love living. I have some problems with my life, but living is the best thing they've come up with so far.
  9. When its 100 degrees in New York, it's 72 in Los Angeles. When its 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it's still 72. However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York and only 72 in Los Angeles.
  10. You're a witness. You're always standing around watching what's happening, scribbling in your book what other people do. You have to get in the middle of it. You have to take sides. Make a contribution to the fight. Any fight. The one you believe in. Until you do, you'll never be a writer, Eugene."

Neil Simon was married fives times -- twice to the same woman, Diane Lander. He is survived by his wife, actress Elaine Joyce, and three daughters, Nancy, Ellen and Bryn