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Neil Simon – Playwright Biography

Marvin Neil Simon was born in Bronx, New York on July 4, 1927. He is the son of Irving Simon, a Jewish traveling salesman and wife, Mamie. Neil Simon is a famous American playwright, producer, and screenwriter. At an early age, Simon started to write and sell his work and his brother’s to radio shows and standup comedians. He attended college in New York University and the University of Denver. He later joined the United States Army and was encouraged by his brother Danny to pursue his writing career while inside the US army program and wrote for the Army camp newspaper (Pelowski, 1998).

When Neil Simon decided to leave the army, he went back to New York and got a job in Warner Brother’s East Coast office as a mailroom clerk. He began to write comedy revues with Danny. Eventually, they discovered their way into radio, and for a while, they got a break in television where they wrote television scripts. In the year 1960, he started to write plays. The first play that he wrote was “Come Blow Your Horn” which became a big hit. Next, he wrote “Barefoot in the Park” which played on Broadway for several years.

He also penned the play “The Odd Couple. ” There were more plays which he created, and some even received nominations and awards. In addition, he also got the chance to write a screenplay and made more than twenty films in history. Some of these are the “Out of Towners,” “Murder by Death” and “The Goodbye Girl Lives” (“Neil Simon Biography,” 2008). Neil Simon got all his ideas and inspiration in writing from his personal life or other people in his life such as his friends.

For instance, “Come Blow Your Horn” was based on his life and Danny’s; “Barefoot in the Park” was based on his married life; and “The Odd Couple” was based on his two friends’ lives (“Neil Simon Biography,” 2008). His plays’ theme is always in the comedy side and can be related to the modern middle class life. Neil Simon’s personal life is known for its controversy, as he was married for five times. His first wife was a dancer and died after 20 years of being together.

A few months after his wife died, he married actress Marsha Mason. However, their relationship fell apart after nine years. He then married another actress, Diane Lander. They divorced the following year, but they re-married again after two years. Their marriage lasted for seven years. Currently, he is married to actress Elaine Joyce. He has three daughters, one of whom is adopted (Durret, 2008; “Neil Simon Biography (1927-),” 2008). Neil Simon is one of the world’s most famous and successful playwrights.

He produced a lot of plays, movies, and was blessed with different awards and recognition. He is one of the Broadway’s phenomenon and no other writer or producers can reach what he achieved today. With all of his works, he continuously inspires and entertains millions of people all over the world, and for sure he will serve as a good inspiration and role model to other aspiring writers and producers out there.

References Durret, M. (2008). Neil Simon. About. com.Retrieved December 12, 2008 from http://humor.about. com/od/comediansr/p/neilsimonprofil. htm Neil Simon Biography. (2008). Notablebiographies. com. Retrieved December 12, 2008 from http://www. notablebiographies. com/Sc-St/Simon-Neil. html Pelowski, A. (1998). Information about Neil Simon. Michigan State University. Retrieved December 12, 2008 from https://www. msu. edu/~pelowsk1/neilsimon/bio. html Neil Simon Biography (1927-). Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies. Retrieved December 12, 2008 from http://www. filmreference. com/film/5/Neil-Simon. html.

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