Neil Simon

Playwright, Screenwriter, Producer
A staff writer on the signature comedy series of television's infancy, "Your Show of Shows" (NBC, 1950-54), Neil Simon went on to establish himself as one of Broadway's most prolific and consistent hit makers. Over the ... Read more »
Born: 07/03/1927 in Bronx, New York, USA

Filmography

Writer (65)

The Odd Couple 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Source Material

The Heartbreak Kid 2007 (Movie)

(from screenplay: "The Heartbreak Kid") (Source Material)

The Out-Of-Towners 1999 (Movie)

("The Out of Towners") (Play as Source Material)

The Out-Of-Towners 1999 (Movie)

original screenplay (Screenplay)

The Odd Couple II 1998 (Movie)

(Characters as Source Material)

The Odd Couple II 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Neil Simon's "London Suite" 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Screenplay

Neil Simon's Jake's Women 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Screenplay

Lost in Yonkers 1993 (Movie)

("Lost in Yonkers") (Play as Source Material)

Lost in Yonkers 1993 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Neil Simon's Broadway Bound 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Screenplay

The Marrying Man 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Biloxi Blues 1988 (Movie)

("Biloxi Blues") (Play as Source Material)

Biloxi Blues 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Plaza Suite 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Screenplay

Brighton Beach Memoirs 1986 (Movie)

("Brighton Beach Memoirs") (Play as Source Material)

Brighton Beach Memoirs 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Slugger's Wife 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Lonely Guy 1984 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))

Max Dugan Returns 1983 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Plaza Suite 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

Barefoot in the Park 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Writer

I Ought to Be in Pictures 1982 (Movie)

("I Ought to Be in Pictures") (Play as Source Material)

I Ought to Be in Pictures 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Only When I Laugh 1981 (Movie)

("The Gingerbread Lady") (Play as Source Material)

Only When I Laugh 1981 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Seems Like Old Times 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Chapter Two 1979 (Movie)

("Chapter Two") (Play as Source Material)

Chapter Two 1979 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

California Suite 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

California Suite 1978 (Movie)

("Califiornia Suite") (Play as Source Material)

The Cheap Detective 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Goodbye Girl 1977 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Oddball Couple 1975 - 1977 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

The Sunshine Boys 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Writer

Love, Life, Liberty & Lunch 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Writer

Happy Endings 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Writer

Murder By Death 1975 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Sunshine Boys 1975 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Sunshine Boys 1975 (Movie)

("The Sunshine Boys") (Play as Source Material)

The Prisoner of Second Avenue 1974 (Movie)

("The Prisoner of Second Avenue") (Play as Source Material)

The Prisoner of Second Avenue 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Last of the Red Hot Lovers 1972 (Movie)

("Last of the Red Hot Lovers") (Play as Source Material)

Last of the Red Hot Lovers 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Heartbreak Kid 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Plaza Suite 1971 (Movie)

("Plaza Suite") (Play as Source Material)

Plaza Suite 1971 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Star Spangled Girl 1970 (Movie)

("Star Spangled Girl") (Play as Source Material)

The Out-of-Towners 1970 (Movie)

("The Out of Towners") (Play as Source Material)

The Out-of-Towners 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Sweet Charity 1969 (Movie)

("Sweet Charity") (Play as Source Material)

The Odd Couple 1968 (Movie)

("The Odd Couple") (Play as Source Material)

The Odd Couple 1968 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Barefoot in the Park 1967 (Movie)

("Barefoot in the Park") (Play as Source Material)

Barefoot in the Park 1967 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

After the Fox 1966 (Movie)

(From Story)

After the Fox 1966 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Come Blow Your Horn 1963 (Movie)

("Come Blow Your Horn") (Play as Source Material)

The Phil Silvers Show 1955 - 1959 (TV Show)

Writer

Holiday in Las Vegas 1957 - 1958 (TV Show)

Writer

Stanley 1956 - 1957 (TV Show)

Writer

Your Show of Shows 1949 - 1954 (TV Show)

Writer

The Odd Couple (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

The Odd Couple: Together Again (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

The Sunshine Boys (TV Show)

Screenplay
Actor (26)

Broadway Legends 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Jackie Gleason: The Great One 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Burt Bacharach 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Frasier 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Matthew Broderick 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Marsha Mason 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Alan Alda: More Than Mr. Nice Guy 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Actors Studio 1994 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Jack Lemmon 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Lemmon: America's Everyman 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The Pitch 1997 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Caesar's Writers 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Urban Heartlands: Neil Simon's New York City 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Alan King: Inside the Comedy Mind 1990 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Street Scenes: New York on Film 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Class of the 20th Century 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The World of Jewish Humor 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Fosse: Steam Heat 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Music Center 25th Anniversary 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Neil Simon: Not Just For Laughs 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 3rd Annual American Comedy Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's World of Comedy 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (9)

The Odd Couple II 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Marrying Man 1991 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Max Dugan Returns 1983 (Movie)

(Producer)

I Ought to Be in Pictures 1982 (Movie)

(Producer)

Only When I Laugh 1981 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Trouble With People 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Barefoot in the Park 1967 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

Laughter on the 23rd Floor (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Goodbye Girl (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Production Management (1)

The Adventures of Marco Polo (Movie)

(Teleplay By)
Other (2)

Minotaur 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Driver

Sweet Charity 1969 (Movie)

libretto (Other)

Biography

A staff writer on the signature comedy series of television's infancy, "Your Show of Shows" (NBC, 1950-54), Neil Simon went on to establish himself as one of Broadway's most prolific and consistent hit makers. Over the course of four decades, a Simon play or musical opened most seasons on Broadway and were often turned into major motion pictures within a couple of years, including "Barefoot in the Park" (1967), "The Out-of-Towners" (1969), "The Sunshine Boys" (1975) and "California Suite" (1978). Simon also wrote his share of original screenplays, such as the mystery spoof "Murder By Death" (1976) and the charming romantic comedy "Seems Like Old Times" (1980), though it was largely his stage work that earned him his reputation. Perhaps his most enduring creation was "The Odd Couple," which was a play in 1965, a film in 1968 and a television show that ran five seasons starting in 1970, while over the decades popping up in other incarnations. In the 1980s, Simon began a series of semi-autobiographical coming-of-age plays focused on his alleged alter-ego, Eugene Jerome. Dubbed the Eugene Trilogy, the plays consisted of "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1983), "Biloxi Blues" (1985) and "Broadway Bound" (1986), with the former two being turned into mildly successful feature films. After years as an unbridled hit maker, Simon earned the overwhelming respect of critics with "Lost in Yonkers" (1991), which earned him a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for drama. Though his success tapered off in his later years, Simon remained the most important playwright of the latter-half of the 20th century.

Relationships

Mamie Simon

Mother

Joan Baim

Wife
Married Sept. 10, 1953 until her death from bone cancer July 17, 1973

Elaine Joyce Actor

Wife

Diane Lander Actor

Wife
Met 1985 when she was handing out perfume samples at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills Remarried February 1990

Michael Levoff

Step-Son
born c. 1984 son of Elaine Joyce

Marsha Mason Actor

Wife

Irving Simon

Father

Bryn Simon

Daughter
adopted mother, Diane Lander

Ellen Simon

Daughter
born in 1957 mother, Joan Baim first film script "Moonlight and Valentino" produced in 1995

Nancy Simon

Daughter
born c. 1963 mother, Joan Baim

Danny Simon

Brother
born c. 1919 gave his brother an unfinished script which became "The Odd Couple"

EDUCATION

New York University

New York , New York

DeWitt Clinton High School

Bronx , New York 1944

Milestones

2001

Adapted semi-autobiographical play about working on "Your Show of Show" for Showtime as "Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor"

2001

Returned to Broadway with the comedy "45 Seconds From Broadway"; was unable to attend opening night due to back surgery

2000

Had new play "The Dinner Party" open on Broadway

1998

Wrote film sequel "The Odd Couple II", which sank at the box office despite the presence of Matthau and Lemmon

1998

Remake of "The-Out-of-Towners", based on his original screenplay, starred Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn in the roles once played by Lemmon and Sandy Dennis

1997

30th play, "Proposals", featuring his first major black character, opened and closed on Broadway; the revival of "The Sunshine Boys" exhibited more staying power with a run in excess of six months, due in no small part to the chemistry of its stars Randal

1994

Created stir in theater world when he opted to allow new play "London Suite" to be produced Off-Broadway, citing economics of producing original non-musical work on Broadway

1993

"Laughter on the 23rd Floor", based on his experience writing for Sid Caesar, opened on Broadway starring Nathan Lane

1992

"Neil Simon's 'Broadway Bound'" produced for ABC-TV; first adaptation of a Simon play made directly for TV

1991

Received Pulitzer Prize in Drama for "Lost in Yonkers", a semi-autobiographical work

1986

Third play in trilogy "Broadway Bound" focused on early success as a comedy writer

1985

Second play in trilogy "Biloxi Blues", about his miliatary experiences, received Tony as Best Play

1982

Wrote first of trilogy of autobiographical plays, "Brighton Beach Memoirs"

1978

Earned last Oscar nomination (to date) for adapting "California Suite"

1977

First of five screenplays starring second wife Marsha Mason, "The Goodbye Girl"; received third Academy Award nomination

1975

Garnered second Oscar nomination for screenplay for "The Sunshine Boys"

1972

First screenplay not based on own work, "The Heartbreak Kid", adapted from a Bruce Jay Friedman short story

1968

Garnered first Oscar nomination for adapting "The Odd Couple"; film teamed Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau

1968

Wrote book for musical "Promises, Promises", based on the classic Billy Wilder film "The Apartment"

1967

First film as associate producer, "Barefoot in the Park"; also scripted

1966

First screenplay, "After the Fox", adapted from his story

1965

Sold the stage rights to "Barefoot in the Park" and the ancillary rights to "The Odd Couple" to Paramount Pictures for $125,000, possibly the worst business decision of career; received no money from the popular "The Odd Couple" TV series (ABC, 1970-1975)

1962

Wrote the book for the Broadway musical, "Little Me", starring Sid Caesar

1961

First produced play, "Come Blow Your Horn"; adapted for film in 1963

1955

First writing for stage, collaborated with brother on material for the Broadway revue "Catch a Star"

1944

Served with US Army Air Force

Wrote for "The Phil Silvers Show/You'll Never Get Rich"

Was a staff writer on the TV series "Stanley", starring Buddy Hackett

Was a staff writer on "Your Shows of Shows", starring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca

Wrote comedy material for radio with brother Danny

Bonus Trivia

.

"To be honest, the only time I ever felt rich was when I was 19 and got my first job writing for 'The Phil Silvers Show'. When my brother Danny and I were hired, they told us we'd get $200 a week."We went home and thought, 'Wow! A hundred dollars a week apiece! This is incredible!' Then we got our first check and it was for $200 a week--each. Well, I thought I was Rockefeller. After that, I never thought about money. It just kept coming and coming." --Neil Simon quoted in DAILY NEWS, October 6, 1996

.

"Not a line of 'Brighton Beach Memoirs' or 'Broadway Bound' was ever uttered in real life. Eugene O'Neill really wrote autobiographical plays; there's way too much emphasis on the autographical part [of mine] . . ."My theory is, if it comes out of your mind, in some ways it's autobiographical. Or semi-autobiographical, but people assume mistakenly that it all happened to you . . ."I really don't know where some of the things come from. All the twists and turns are a surprise." --Simon to NEWSDAY, November 2, 1997

.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004, Neil Simon received a kidney transplant courtesy of his friend and longtime press representative Bill Evans

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