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Neil Simon, Broadway master of comedy, is dead at 91



Mr. Allen and Mr. Simon, who had their roots in the urban Jewish lower middle class, were also united by the ability of the classical funnyman to excite millions of others' laughter while persuading the dark clouds to persevere over their own destinies seem to float successfully.

Mr. Simon once wrote that he addressed Mr. Allen in a restaurant when both men were at the peak of their success to congratulate Mr. Allen "Manhattan." How did he feel? "Oh, okay," Mr. Allen answered. Mr. Simon wrote, "When I saw his sullen expression, I saw my own reflection." This, when Mr. Simon himself had two hit shows on Broadway, another piece for rehearsals and two films for production. (1

965) One problem is the root of the comedy, and for Mr. Simon it was the agony of an unfortunate childhood during the depression that inspired many of his best works. And it was the dread of living in Los Angeles that drove his resolve to rid himself of Jerry Lewis on television and make his own name. As he wrote in his autobiography "Rewrites" (the first of two volumes) from 1996, the comfort of Hollywood life could extend your lifespan, but "the catch was, when you finally died, it would not be laughing"

Family Tension

Marvin Neil Simon was born on July 4, 1927 in the Bronx. He was the son of textile industry representative Irving Simon, who left the family more than once during his childhood and Mr. Simon's mother, May, to look after Neil and his older brother Danny. When the family was intact, the mood was eclipsed by constant fighting between the parents.

The tensions of the family that moved to Washington Heights when Mr. Simon was 5 found their way into many of his plays, notably the Late Trilogy, but also the early comedies, including his first piece, "Come Blow Your Horn "(1961), about a young man who moves out to join his older brother, a bachelor and a lady. And when the family finally separated, the young Mr. Simon went to cousins, while his brother had to live with an aunt. The circumstances were reflected in "Lost in Yonkers".

"When an audience laughed, I felt fulfilled," Simon wrote in "Rewrites." "It was a sign of approval, of acceptance, just as I did in a childhood where laughter in the house meant safety but rarely was heard as often as a door slammed each time my father took another year away from us, the laughter that found my way in the theater was food. "19659008]
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