AP NEWS

The Latest: Matthew Broderick says he owes career to Simon

August 26, 2018
1 of 5

FILE- In this July 2, 1977, file photo, playwright Neil Simon, right, poses for a photo on the set of "The Cheap Detective" with Dom DeLuise. Simon, a master of comedy whose laugh-filled hits such as "The Odd Couple," "Barefoot in the Park" and his "Brighton Beach" trilogy dominated Broadway for decades, died on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. He was 91. (AP Photo, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the death of playwright Neil Simon (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

Hollywood and Broadway actor Matthew Broderick says his owes his career to playwright Neil Simon.

Broderick in 1983 made both his Broadway debut in Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and his movie debut in Simon’s “Max Dugan Returns.”

He also starred with Nathan Lane in a revival of Simon’s classic comedy, “The Odd Couple,” that was one of the biggest hits of the 2005-2006 Broadway season.

Broderick says that with Simon’s death on Sunday , the theater lost “a brilliantly funny, unthinkably wonderful writer.” Broderick says he feels like he has “lost a mentor, a father figure, a deep influence in my life and work.”

Broderick says it was his “great good fortune” that both his first film and Broadway play were among Simon’s trove of work. Broderick says: “I owe him a career.”

___

2:15 p.m.

One of Neil Simon’s ex-wives says he will be “sorely missed” but his work will live on.

Marsha Mason, who was married to Simon from 1973 to 1983 and acted in his creations, added her voice to the tributes for the playwright, who died Sunday at age 91.

She says: “He was a great talent and man, husband and father. He shall be sorely missed. With his passing, his work and plays live on and will be enjoyed by many generations to come. I miss him deeply and always.”

Mason had appeared in his stage comedy “The Good Doctor” and who went on to star in several films written by Simon, including “The Goodbye Girl,” ″The Cheap Detective,” ″Chapter Two,” ″Only When I Laugh” and “Max Dugan Returns.”

___

1:40 p.m.

Actors, writers and other celebrities are taking to social media to pay tribute to Neil Simon, the American theater’s most successful and prolific playwright in the second half of the 20th century.

“Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill tweeted that Simon was a “GIANT of the American Theatre.”

Randi Mayem Singer, whose screenwriting credits include the 1993 hit “Mrs. Doubtfire,” tweeted that, “If you write comedy, if you write period, you learned something from Neil Simon. A truly great American storyteller.”

Television journalist Dan Rather said Simon “brought a unique eye for life to stage and screen.” Rather says Simon’s sharp characters and dialogue prodded his audience, in laughter and tears, “to contend with the traits that make us human.”

Simon died Sunday at age 91. His classic comedies include “The Odd Couple” and “The Sunshine Boys.”

___

12:50 p.m.

Tributes are pouring in for Neil Simon, the Broadway playwright behind classic such comedies as “The Odd Couple” and “The Sunshine Boys.”

Tony award-winning actor Harvey Fierstein said that Simon “could write a joke that would make you laugh, define the character, the situation, and even the world’s problems.”

Playwright Kristoffer Diaz says: “In a different life, I would have loved to have been my generation’s Neil Simon. I’m sad that we don’t have that kind of voice.”

Actor Josh Gad called Simon “one of the primary influences on my life and career.”

Simon died Sunday at age 91. He was the American theater’s most successful and prolific playwright in the second half of the 20th century. He won three regular Tonys, plus one for special achievement, as well as a Pulitzer and the Mark Twain prize for humor.

___

11:50 a.m.

The playwright behind such comedic hits such as “The Odd Couple” and “Plaza Suite,” has died. Neil Simon was 91.

According to Bill Evans, Simon’s longtime friend and the Shubert Organization director of media relations, the playwright died early Sunday of complications from pneumonia in a Manhattan hospital.

Simon was the American theater’s most successful and prolific playwright in the second half of the 20th century. He won three regular Tonys, plus one for special achievement, as well as a Pulitzer and the Mark Twain prize for humor.

Simon’s successes included “The Sunshine Boys,” ″Plaza Suite” and “Sweet Charity.” Many of his plays were adapted into movies and one, “The Odd Couple,” became a popular TV series.

AP RADIO
Update hourly